Rexel S.A., Paris, France, is looking to consolidate its clout as the world's largest electrical supplies distributor by acquiring the remainder of Rexel, Inc., Coral Gables, and Fla. The move is aimed at developing worldwide relationships with major manufacturers and customers.

Rexel S.A. offered shareholders of Rexel, Inc., $22.50 per share to acquire the 51% of the U.S. company that it does not already own. The acquisition is a strategic move by Rexel S.A. "There are two reasons for Rexel S.A. wanting to own 100% (of Rexel, Inc.)," said Gilles Guinchard, president of Rexel, Inc. "We think they are very confident in the future of (Rexel, Inc.), and they want to get all the benefit, not only half of the benefit. The second reason is that this business is going worldwide. We're expanding in South America and we'll be expanding very soon in the Far East, and there is some value to building relationships with big suppliers and big customers on a worldwide basis. That will be easier with the new situation rather than the old one."

The switch from being a publicly held company to a wholly owned subsidiary of Rexel S.A. will not dramatically change Rexel Inc.'s direction, according to Guinchard. Rexel, Inc. will continue the acquisition hunt that has made it one of the fastest-growing among the large electrical distributors in the U.S., he said.