Plumbing and heating giant Wolseley yesterday took its spending on acquisitions since August to more than £500 million.
The landmark was reached after Wolseley - the world's largest distributor of plumbing and heating products - spent £72 million on three companies, including New Jersey building materials distributor Universal Supply and Alain Carrelage, a French floor tiling distributor.
The group, which has its UK headquarters at Leamington Spa, has also agreed to acquire French heavy side product distributor DAFI, subject to the French Finance Ministry's approval.
Universal Supply notched up sales of $142 million (£80 million) in the year to December 31, while Alain Carrelage posted sales of 4 million euros (£2.7 million) over the same period.
DAFI operates from 18 branches in the Rhone-Alpes region of South-east France with a customer base of generalist builders' merchants.
In the year ended December 31 2004 DAFI generated turnover of 64.7 million euros (£44 million) and had gross assets of 25.9 million euros (£17.6 million) at that date.
Wolseley chief executive Charlie Banks said the takeovers strengthened the Reading-based firm's presence abroad and illustrated the geographic growth of the company, which is more than one hundred years old.
Since August 1, it has spent around £508 million on 25 takeovers, which are expected to add £806 million to the group's full-year turnover.
Some £273 million was spent on ten companies to expand its European Distribution arm, £111 million on 12 more for its North American Plumbing and Heating Distribution division, and £124 million on three companies for its Building Materials Distribution arm in the United States.
It bought Universal Supply from the Umosella family who founded the company in 1965 to give Wolseley's stock building supply business a presence in New Jersey.
Wolseley currently operates in 14 countries including Italy, Hungary, Canada and Switzerland and has around 63,000 employees.
The United Kingdom provides 20 per cent of its sales from the Build Center, Plumb Center and Pipe Center chains.
By its year end in July it achieved profits ahead of expectations £691.2 million, up 15.6 per cent on the previous year.