Advent International agrees to sell fast-growing U.S. distributor MORSCO to Reece Limited

BOSTON, May 7, 2018 – Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, today announced that it has agreed to sell MORSCO (“the Company”), a leading U.S. distributor of plumbing products, waterworks materials, and heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment, to Reece Limited (ASX: REH). Reece, the leading distributor of plumbing, waterworks and HVAC products in Australia, will acquire MORSCO for US$1.44 billion in cash. Reece intends to operate MORSCO separately from its businesses in Australia and New Zealand, with the existing MORSCO management team remaining in place under the leadership of CEO Chip Hornsby.

MORSCO is a private company owned by Advent since November 2011 and led by a team of industry veterans. With Advent’s support, the Company has grown organically and through acquisitions from a regional distributor into a leading national player in the plumbing, waterworks and HVAC markets. Today the company has 171 branches in 16 states, with coast-to-coast coverage of the fast-growing Sun Belt region of the U.S.

“We are proud of our successful partnership with MORSCO,” said Stephen Hoffmeister, a Managing Director at Advent. “Over the past six years, MORSCO has completed 13 acquisitions, expanded into new regional markets and business lines and accelerated growth to become an industry leader. We believe Reece will provide a great new home for MORSCO, and we are confident that the Company will continue to thrive and expand domestically with the added support and resources of Reece.”

“Advent International has been a valued partner to our company,” said Chip Hornsby, Chief Executive Officer of MORSCO. “With their support and strategic guidance, MORSCO has become one of the largest plumbing, HVAC and waterworks supply companies in the U.S. The Reece track record of innovation is truly world-class, and their customer offering is second to none. We very much look forward to joining forces with a successful, strategic, long‐term industry player, and we believe there will be many opportunities for cross‐pollination of ideas and talent over the years ahead.”

Reece Chief Executive Officer Peter Wilson said, “We’re excited to be entering a long‐term partnership with MORSCO to invest in the growth of their business in the U.S. market. It’s a market that’s forecast to grow at twice the rate of the Australian market, and it is currently about eight times the size. By working with this experienced local team led by Chip Hornsby, we are writing the next chapter of Reece’s growth for the benefit of our team, our customers, our suppliers and the long‐term wealth generation of our shareholders.”

Barclays and RBC Capital Markets, LLC are serving as financial advisers to MORSCO, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as MORSCO’s legal counsel. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Ernst & Young are serving as joint financial advisers to Reece. DLA Piper and Allens Linklaters are serving as legal advisers to Reece.

The transaction is expected to be completed in July 2018, pending regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

ABOUT MORSCO

MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, waterworks and HVAC supplies. The company was founded in Fort Worth, Texas, and is now one of the fastest growing in its market. MORSCO is a private company sponsored by Advent International and led by a team of industry veterans. The MORSCO family of brands consists of Express Pipe & Supply Co. (CA); Farnsworth Wholesale Supply (AZ); Morrison Supply Company (TX, OK, NM, KS); Murray Supply Company (NC, SC); Wholesale Specialties (CO), DeVore & Johnson (GA); Fortiline Waterworks (AL, AZ, FL, GA, KS, KY, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA) and MORSCO’s premier showroom offering in these markets, Expressions Home Gallery.

For additional information regarding MORSCO or any of its brands, please visit:
www.morsco.com/

ABOUT ADVENT INTERNATIONAL

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 330 private equity transactions in 41 countries and as of December 31, 2017, had $42 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 190 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. After more than 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.

For more information, visit:
www.adventinternational.com

Media contacts

Emily Ward or JP Letourneau
Abernathy MacGregor
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