Manchester’s Distrelec sold to RS Group in €365m deal

By Mark McSherry

Munich-based investment firm Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA said it has sold Manchester-based Distrelec Group, a European B2B distributor of electronic and technical components, to London-based RS Group, a global provider of industrial product and service solutions.

Aurelius said the transaction is valued at an enterprise value of €365 million, resulting in an equity value of around €200 million “after considering all deductible items, minority positions, variable compensation and transaction costs.”

Closing is expected in Q3 of 2023 or earlier.

“The company is a leading European B2B distributor of electronic and technical components with around 400 employees,” said Aurelius.

“Beyond its main markets of Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, with active sales teams Distrelec holds a strong presence in 19 European countries.

“Its product range is comprised of Maintenance, Repair & Operations (MRO) components, targeting B2B customers.

“Aurelius acquired Distrelec as a carve-out from Dätwyler Group in March 2020. Jointly with Dätwyler, Aurelius Group successfully managed the carve-out process within the agreed timeframe.

“Since then, Aurelius´ operational task force has supported Distrelec in becoming an established stand-alone business and helped guide the company on its successful growth path.”

Aurelius Equity Opportunities CEO Matthias Täubl said: “Distrelec looks back on an impressive heritage. The company is a trusted, long-standing partner for many of Europe´s largest electronic and technical providers.

“Since joining Aurelius in March 2020, Distrelec has first stabilised and then significantly expanded its market position and successfully positioned itself as a well-established, independent participant in the European field of B2B electricals distribution, while preserving its unique heritage.

“We are convinced that RS Group will support Distrelec´s further growth trajectory over the coming years.”

RS Group said Distrelec generated revenue of €270 million and EBIT of €34 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. It said the acquisition will be financed from its existing resources and the addition of a new three-year acquisition term loan facility of €150 million.

RS Group CEO Simon Pryce said:Strategic acquisitions that are value creative is part of our strategy, and I’m pleased with what I’ve seen of our disciplined identification, assessment, valuation and integration processes.

“These have helped to drive good progress at Risoul since we acquired it in January 2023. Distrelec is a complementary business to RS with excellent value creation potential under our ownership.

“It materially strengthens our presence in key European markets, there is a strong cultural and operational fit and there are significant potential soft and hard synergies from the combination.

“We look forward to welcoming Distrelec to RS and to realising the significant potential growth and value creation opportunities it creates for all our stakeholders.”

Aurelius was advised on the transaction by Baird (M&A), OMMAX (Digital), PwC (Financial), Linklaters (Legal), Haver & Mailänder (Legal), Kearney (Commercial) and EY (Tax).

RS Group was advised on the transaction by Greenhill (M&A), Rothschild (M&A), McKinsey (Commercial, Operations, Integration), EY (Financial, Tax, HR), and Osborne Clarke (Legal, Compliance).