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For Immediate Release
December 17, 2002

Ferguson to Break Ground on Northwest Distribution Center

NEWPORT NEWS, VA. - - Ferguson Enterprises announces that it will break ground on a new $18,000,000 distribution center in Richland, WA on December 18, 2002. The new facility will be located in Horn Rapids Industrial Park, owned by the City of Richland, and is one of the largest industrial properties in the Pacific Northwest. The 350,000 square-foot distribution center is expected be completed by November 2003.

“This is great news for Washington State,” Gov. Gary Locke said. “The new Ferguson distribution center will create good-paying jobs for citizens in the Tri-Cities. A lot of hard work went in to making this deal happen. It shows how committed we are to keeping our state competitive.”

Don Swain, Ferguson’s manager of facility development, explains why this site was chosen: “We conducted an extensive search throughout eastern and central Oregon and Washington. The selection process takes into account many points of consideration including economics, labor, infrastructure, quality of life, incentives etc…Richland won out.” President and CEO Chip Hornsby adds, “ The joint effort from all the local communities and organizations involved has been inspiring and validates the reasoning behind the selection of this location. We are proud to bring this facility to the Tri-City communities and to be able to offer opportunities to their citizens.”

All the associates in the FNW branches are excited about the Richland distribution center. They’re busy getting aligned so when it opens, we can hit the ground running. Once the new DC is operating, there will be no stopping us! This creates a definite competitive advantage, and the possibilities that lie ahead are limitless. It's exciting to be a part of the national DC network.

Tri-Cities Industrial Development Council (TRIDEC) has awarded a $450,000 grant for infrastructure development, and the state of Washington has provided sales tax abatement. The project will create ninety new jobs, and workforce training will be conducted through three sources: the Department of Employee Security Training Program (DES), the Columbia Basin Workforce Development Council (CBWDC) Training Program, and the Washington State Job Skills Program.

Ferguson is the country's largest wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies; pipes, valves and fittings; waterworks; and heating and air conditioning products. Ferguson is owned by Wolseley plc (NYSE: WOS), and with 2,750 outlets, is the world's largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products. Wolseley's U.S. building distribution includes Ferguson, Familian Northwest, and Carolina Holdings.

For further information, contact: communications@ferguson.com

Ferguson is part of the Wolseley plc group of United States companies that generate annual sales revenue exceeding $7 billion. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, Ferguson has sales of nearly $5 billion and more than 12,000 associates in approximately 700 service centers located in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

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