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Watsco – History

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Watsco was incorporated in 1956.

The company began a strategy of establishing a distribution network selling air conditioning and heating equipment and related parts and supplies across the Sunbelt in 1989.

Later during 1998, Watsco acquired Nevada Supply and completed the acquisition of five other wholesale distributors of air conditioning and heating equipment or related parts and supplies. In the same year, the company acquired Superior Supply Company and KingAire Corporation. Also, Watsco sold its manufacturing business, Watsco Components, to International Comfort Products Corporation. The company acquired Kaufman Supply in the same year.

In 1999, Watsco acquired two distributors of heating and air conditioning products that served the New England market. Also, it acquired Heat, a wholesale distributor of heating and air conditioning products located in New England. In the same year, the company acquired Atlantic Air, a distributor of air conditioning equipment based in Fort Worth, Texas.

The company announced new alliances with four providers of Internet business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce solutions in 2000. These were Ariba, Commerce One, Intelisys Electronic Commerce, and Cephren. In the same year, the company acquired SW Anderson Sales, a distributor of heating, air conditioning, and insulation products.

Watsco signed a multi-year license agreement with Whirlpool to be the exclusive national distributor for a new line of Whirlpool’s central air conditioning and heating equipment in 2002. The company completed a $225 million revolving credit facility to replace its existing bank loan agreement in the same year.

Watsco acquired operations from Pameco with 43 locations in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi in 2003.The company sold an array of heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, and related parts and supplies.

The acquisition of East Coast Metal Distributors, a distributor of air conditioning and heating products, was completed in January 2005.

In August 2007, Watsco acquired ACR Group, through a cash tender offer and a subsequent short-form merger of Coconut Grove Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Watsco, with and into ACR. Watsco acquired ACR’s outstanding common stock in a cash tender offer of $6.75 per share. ACR is one of the nation’s largest distributors of air conditioning and heating products. It is based in Houston, Texas.