Wolseley expands European distribution business with purchase of insulation material supplier.

Materials firm Wolseley has completed the £140m acquisition of Encon, the UK distributor of insulation materials.

Wolseley, the world's largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products to professional contractors and a leading supplier of building materials, bought Encon from 3i and "certain Encon management and staff".

The acquisition is in line with Wolseley's strategy of expanding its European distribution operations into related construction materials. The £140.5m will be financed from Wolseley's existing resources.

Encon employs 550 people and has 22 branches across the UK. Encon’s management team will remain with the company, reporting to Wolseley UK managing director Adrian Barden. Encon made a £9.7m profit on sales of £169m in the year ended August 31, 2005.

Wolseley’s US business Ferguson acquired Californian waterworks wholesaler Camellia Valley Supply for an undisclosed sum in a move to strengthen its water operations. CVS produced sales of £19m in the year ended March 31, 2005 and has gross assets worth £7.9m.