MIAMI - Watsco Inc. has executed a definitive purchase agreement to acquire East Coast Metal Distributors Inc. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days.

Founded in 1954, East Coast is based in Durham, N.C., and operates from 27 locations, including 24 wholesale and three commercial manufacturer representative locations, serving more than 3,500 air conditioning and heating contractors throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee. East Coast has 386 employees and distributes a full line of air conditioning and heating equipment and related parts and supplies consisting of approximately 10,000 SKUs to the new construction and replacement markets.

Albert Nahmad, Watsco's chairman and CEO, commented: "We are very pleased to welcome East Coast's employees to the Watsco family. We recognize that East Coast's success over the years is based on the strong relationships this fine organization has built with HVAC contractors who want the very best service and a broad range of products available at convenient locations. East Coast will operate as a subsidiary of Watsco under its present name and superb management team, and Watsco will provide resources where needed to assist with East Coast's growth plans."

Publication date: 12/27/2004