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Rexel to Acquire GE Supply

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(Archive News Story - Products mentioned in this Archive News Story may or may not be available from the manufacturer.)

GE Co., GE Consumer Products
Appliance Park
Louisville, KY, 40225

Press release date: July 11, 2006

PARIS, France, and LOUISVILLE, KY, U.S. - July 11, 2006 - The Rexel Group (Rexel), the world's leading distribution network of electrical supplies, and GE Consumer & Industrial, a unit of General Electric (NYSE:GE), today announced the signing of an agreement for Rexel to acquire GE Supply, GE's electrical distribution business. The acquisition, for a total consideration of U.S. $ 725 million, will continue Rexel's leadership in the consolidation of the electrical distribution industry.

Rexel is already a significant player in the U.S. $ 64 billion market for electrical products in the U.S. through Rexel Inc, which posted $2.5 billion in sales in 2005.

With U.S $2.2 billion in pro forma 2005 annual revenues for the transferred business to Rexel, GE Supply is a leading distributor of electrical products produced by GE and more than 200 other manufacturers. The business is headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, and employs approximately 2,500 people in more than 150 locations around the world. GE Supply's core electrical distribution activities operate mainly in the U.S.

After the acquisition of GE Supply, Rexel will operate in the U.S. through a dual-banner strategy, serving an expanded customer base with a much larger product offering and reinforced network density. Rexel will benefit from GE Supply's large project management experience and national footprint to attract key accounts with a differentiated service offering. Rexel will also gain expertise in the GE Supply's highly attractive outsourced offering through the GE Supply Logistics and GE Production Services divisions.

Jean-Charles Pauze, Chairman and CEO of Rexel said, "By welcoming this highly valuable company within the Group, Rexel will double its presence in the U.S. with nearly $5 billion in sales and reinforce its leadership in the world's largest and fast growing electrical distribution market. The acquisition of GE Supply not only increases our presence in the U.S. but demonstrates Rexel's ability to drive consolidation of the industry. This value enhancing investment is a logical step forward and validates the attractiveness of our business model. "

Rexel board member Roberto Quarta, representative of Rexel's shareholders and a partner of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc., said, "Together with Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, we strongly support Rexel and its management team as they continue to build significant value through their acquisition strategy in the attractive and highly fragmented global electrical distribution market."

"The GE Supply team has done a great job of growing the business," said James P. Campbell, President and CEO, GE Consumer & Industrial. "Rexel is committed to fostering GE Supply's continued growth by providing support that will help the business expand its presence, products and services for their customers. It's a great fit. The terms of this sale also ensure that GE Supply will remain a strategic distribution channel for GE products. This is a big win for us and for the customers that count on GE Supply to take care of all of their GE product needs."

Upon closing, GE Supply will operate as a stand-alone organization and will report to the newly created Rexel U.S. Holding group headed by Dick Waterman, Rexel, Inc.'s Executive Vice President and CEO. Senior Vice President and CEO of GE Supply Jeff Schaper, along with his leadership team, will continue to operate the business.

The transaction is expected to close by early August 2006, subject to consent of Rexel's seniors' lenders.

About Rexel Group

Rexel, the number one worldwide distribution network for electrical supplies, operates in 24 countries through a network of 1,686 branches. In 2005, the Group employed 21,000 people, and posted sales of 7.4 billion euros. Its U.S. company, Rexel Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is one of the largest distributors of electrical and datacom supplies in the U.S. With over 4,945 employees, Rexel Inc. operates more than 300 branches in 34 states.

In the past 18 months, Rexel has expanded its global footprint through acquisitions of electrical distribution businesses in Europe and in the U.S., and has recently completed acquisitions with Electro-Material, the leading electrical wholesaler in Switzerland, ElettroBergamo (Italy) and Capitol Light and Supply (U.S.).

Rexel was acquired in 2005 by an investor group including Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.

For more information, visit Rexel's web site at

About GE Supply

GE Supply is a full-line electrical distributor with U.S.$ 2.3 billion in 2005 annual revenues and 2,500 employees worldwide. Headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, the company's core electrical distribution activities operate through 150 branches in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Ireland, Hungary and Asia. In addition, GE Supply has an integrated logistics management business, a Global Sales Center, Tech Center, and Parts Super Center. GE Supply distributes products and parts from GE and over 200 leading manufacturers.

For more information, visit


Rexel Group

For France : Béatrice Germain, W: + 33 1 58 47 95 45 C: + 33 6 79 70 50 68

Rexel Investors Relations Frédéric de Castro: W :+ 33 1 42 85 76 12

For the US : Alan Oshiki, W: + 1 212 232 2354 C: + 1 917 587 9413

GE Consumer & Industrial

Debbie Wexler, W: + 1 203 944 3101 C: + 1 502 396 1558
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