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Wolseley taps further into Swiss market by merging Tobler with rival

Plumb Center owner Wolseley has inked a deal that will see it expand further into Switzerland.

Wolseley said on Tuesday it has signed an agreement to merge its Swiss plumbing and heating business Tobler with local rival Walter Meier.

The deal will see Wolseley receive 117.8 million Swiss francs (£94 million) and a 39.2% minority holding in the newly combined group.

"If completed, the merger would be consistent with the strategic objectives of both Wolseley and Walter Meier to create a high quality, market-leading business across plumbing, heating and HVAC distribution in Switzerland," Wolseley said.

The proposed merger is subject to approval by Walter Meier's shareholders, appropriate financing being in place and Swiss regulatory approval.

The expansion oversees comes after Wolseley said in December it would axe up to 800 British jobs as part of a restructuring that will see it shut 80 branches and a distribution centre.

The shake-up, which will cost the firm £100 million, comes amid a challenging period in the UK, where it has seen a sharp slowdown in growth.

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