FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 07, 2001

Lila White
www.thedigitaldominion.com
(804) 692-3110


Elisabeth McArver
Ferguson Enterprises
(757) 989-2944
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces 400 New Jobs In Newport News
-Ferguson Enterprises invests $20.5 million in expansion-


Newport News - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that Ferguson Enterprises will create 400 new jobs at its current corporate office in the Patrick Henry Commerce Center in Newport News. Ferguson, the largest plumbing supply distributor in the United States, is owned by Wolseley plc, the world’s largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products. Ferguson's significant expansion has resulted in the need for an additional $20.5 million facility at its Newport News headquarters campus.

“I am pleased that the Commonwealth was able to meet Ferguson’s needs, enabling the company to bring more jobs to Newport News and keep its corporate headquarters here in Virginia,” said Governor Gilmore. “Ferguson currently employs more than 850 people on the Peninsula and the added jobs will certainly benefit the economy.”

Governor Gilmore approved a $750,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Newport News with site preparation. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the City of Newport News assisted Ferguson Enterprises with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services. Ferguson Enterprises is also eligible for further tax credits because they are locating in an enterprise zone.

Ferguson is part of the Wolseley plc (NYSE: WOS) group of U.S. companies that generate annual sales revenue exceeding $7 billion. Ferguson employs more than 12,000 associates in nearly 700 service centers located in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The Newport News expansion will create 400 new jobs by the end of 2005, 250 of which will be established within 30 months. Most of the new jobs will be executive and administrative positions.

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ADD-1/Ferguson/Gilmore

“Six years ago when we broke ground for our corporate headquarters at Bland and Jefferson streets, we believed that we would have enough room to grow for at least 10 years. However, we outgrew our current facility in four years,” said Ferguson President and Chief Executive Officer Claude S. “Chip” Hornsby. “Because we now have nearly 700 locations, spanning six time zones, we considered relocating to a more central time zone or to an adjacent state. It was a tough decision, but with the cooperation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Newport News and the Industrial Development Authority, we have decided to expand at our current location.”

“Ferguson plays an important role in Virginia’s economy and as a valued corporate citizen,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry E. DuVal.

“Newport News has been home to Ferguson Enterprises since the company was founded,” said Newport News Mayor Joe Frank. “It is vitally important to the city, and a confirmation of our community’s attractiveness as a corporate location, that this company--which is now a major component of a multi-national company--chose to stay and expand its corporate headquarters in Newport News. The state, the city and our Industrial Development Authority have worked hard to make this happen.”


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