EDE International: New cooperation with French association EQIP

The aim of the new cooperation between EQIP, France’s leading construction fittings association, and EDE International AG is to utilise joint strengths and create synergies.

“When two successful organizations join forces, both sides can gain strength. We are looking forward to a long-term and trusting cooperation with EQIP,” says Annegret Franzen, Managing Director of EDE International AG. With an external turnover of around 2 billion euros, 17 member companies and 750 sales outlets in France and Belgium, EQIP is the leading association of independent distributors specialising in hardware for construction and industrial supplies. It is primarily aimed at professionals from the construction, industrial and public sectors. 

A strong partnership at eye level: EQIP has been cooperating with EBH (Euro Baubeschlag Handel AG) since 2018. The cooperation with EDE International followed on 1 November 2023. Both organisations will remain fully independent, in particular by maintaining their differentiated market presence and independent marketing activities and advertising. However, joint activities in goods procurement, logistics, purchasing and services will be successively examined. “In these areas, we can benefit from each other, learn from each other and ultimately increase profitability and achieve cost benefits on both sides,” explains Annegret Franzen.

Anne-Marie Bihel, Managing Director of EQIP, is also convinced of the potential of the new partnership: “Following the intensive negotiations, we are delighted that we can now start working with the E/D/E Group and thus achieve important purchasing advantages for our French and Belgian members. This will further consolidate our position as the leading building fittings association,” Bihel is certain. One of the next important steps on the cooperation agenda has already been finalised. An exclusive purchasing range is to be made available to EQIP members, as all of them can utilise the services of E/D/E. There are also plans to take over centralised payment for other EQIP members in the future.

One of the next important steps on the cooperation agenda has already been determined. In this way, an exclusive shopping assortment is to be made available to EQIP members, because all of them can rely on the services of the E/D/E. In the future, it is also planned to take over central regulation for other members of EQIP.

For more information, please visit: https://www.eqip.fr/

Europe-wide network: the key to success

The European Hardware Network (EHN) met in January for a partner meeting at our Dutch cooperation partner Ferney Group. In order to further expand the competence group, the representatives of the purchasing associations from all over Europe agreed on various measures. For example, more regular meetings with partner suppliers are to take place in the future.

“In today’s economic situation, it is more important than ever to join forces at the level of purchasing associations in Europe,” explains Mayte Jakstait, Business Relations and Communication Manager at EDE International. “We are firmly convinced that we can only be internationally successful if we create synergies and exchange know-how and experience with each other.” To pursue exactly this mission, the partners of the European Hardware Network, EHN for short, met in January for a two-day meeting in North Holland. The event was hosted by the Ferney Group, the largest Dutch purchasing association in the field of building hardware, tools and hardware.

The EHN is a European competence group that EDE International launched in 2022. It currently consists of seven associations that cooperate with each other on an equal footing. In the last year, the group has grown. Representatives of the organizations ASIDE and EHLIS, both from Spain, attended a partner meeting for the first time in 2024.

The EHN works with a wide range of partner suppliers based throughout Europe. The latest supplier that joint EHN is IBS Scherer GmbH, which specialises in the cleaning and maintenance of surfaces in industry. Michel Overvoorde, Sales Manager Benelux at IBS, presented not only his company but also its product range to the competence group in January. This includes, among other things, special cleaners, maintenance products and washing machines.

From the outset, the partners agreed on one point: they would like to further expand the EHN this year. For this reason, the agenda of the meeting provided for the adoption of measures to help achieve this goal. In addition to the annual partner meetings, regular meetings with the suppliers will also be intensified from now on. “On the one hand, this gives the suppliers who have recently joined the company the opportunity to introduce themselves and their range of goods,” explains Jakstait. “On the other hand, it gives us the opportunity to have ongoing feedback meetings to make the collaboration even more effective.”

Participation in various market events will also be on the agenda for the representatives of the purchasing associations in the future. The next meeting is planned for the beginning of March at the Hardware Fair in Cologne. See you in Cologne!

More info: https://ehn-info.com/

New cooperation with United Hardware

With effect from 1st July 2023, United Hardware, Ireland’s largest buying and marketing group for independent Builders, Plumbers, Hardware and Timber Merchants, is cooperating with  EDE International AG. Both partners signed the agreement on the occasion of a visit to EDE’s headquarter in Wuppertal in May.

With group volume of more than €520m, over 2000 shop staff and over 6000 products available, United Hardware is Ireland’s preferred hardware buying group.

One of the first steps of the cooperation will be the connection to the electronic warehouse eLC. Further projects are already being considered and will successively follow in the area of the FORTIS private label, a partnership with the European Competence Group EHN and the financial services of ETRIS BANK.

Freek Dekkers, Sales Director at EDE International for Northern Europe, knows: “With United Hardware, we have a strong partner at our side who is represented throughout Ireland. With its structures and suppliers, it offers the optimal conditions and thus the basis for effectively creating synergies!”

David Shakeshaft, Commercial Director of United Hardware, is sure that the cooperation is a promising decision: “For the independent operators of our shops, this alliance is a win-win situation; the cooperation with EDE International enables us to offer them even better conditions and a wider range of products.”

Annegret Franzen, CEO EDE International, summarises: “The success of E/D/E and EDE International AG is characterised by strong partnerships at eye level – we are very pleased to be able to enter into a promising cooperation with United Hardware in Ireland as well – with benefits for both sides.”

A warm welcome to United Hardware!

Further information: https://unitedhardware.ie

New leadership team of the cooperation partner Centro Distribuzione Utensili (CDU) visits Wuppertal

At the end of May, the initial visit of the new head of the leading purchasing and marketing organisation CDU (Centro Distribuzione Utensili) based in Caponago, Milan took place on the occasion of a management meeting with EDE International in Wuppertal.

Andrea Naggi (new Managing Director of Centro Distribuzione Utensili Srl) and Marco Mattanza, new Coordinator for the Consorzio Distributori Utensili came to the cooperation partner EDE International with other members of the group to talk about the continuous expansion of the successful cooperation on the Italian market that has been going on for decades.

The Italian cooperation partner was founded in 1992 and has since grown to 25 members with 36 sales locations throughout Italy. Last year, a record result of € 220 million was generated for the first time. For years, CDU has established itself as the most important group in Italy with a focus on cutting tools and other assortments for professional customers in industry and trade. In addition to a wide range of services for its independent professional members it offers well-known original brands, its own private labels (e.g. TKN) and has been very successful in distributing the E/D/E private label FORMAT for decades.

The whole team of EDE International wishes Andrea Naggi and Marco Mattanza a wonderful take-off into their new professional challenge within CDU and very much look forward to developing interesting new projects together with them.

“Grazie per la visita e benvenuti nella famiglia EDE!”

CECOFERSA Annual Assembly 2023 in Granada

Within the framework of a perfectly organised members’ trip of CECOFERSA S.A. with members from Spain and Portugal from 11 – 14 May in Granada, the Annual Assembly took place on Friday, 12th May 2023.

In addition to numerous participants from the CECOFERSA membership from the Iberian Peninsula, the entire CECOFERSA sales and administration team, as well as the shareholders EHLIS and EDE International also took part.

The meeting focused on information about the current situation in the sector, the resulting challenges and, in particular, the numerous services provided by Cecofersa to the Iberian members and by the shareholders EHLIS S.A. and EDE International AG in a difficult global market environment.

The central theme here: continuing to grow together, which is firmly anchored in CECOFERSA’s philosophy with the company slogan “Crecemos Juntos!”.

A constructive and fruitful meeting, in which Rafael Martin, as advisor to the CECOFERSA Board of Directors, emphasised the topic of transparency and stability and Javier Herrera, Managing Director of CECOFERSA, never tired of stressing the many opportunities for joint cooperation. Annegret Franzen, Managing Director of EDE International, praised the organisation, sound information of the meeting and the strong and numerous participation of the members: “We are and will remain a solid, strong and loyal partner for CECOFERSA and, together with our joint venture Delcredit España, are at the disposal of the Iberian members with all our services from Wuppertal and Spain.”

Initial visit of the Italian TED group to Wuppertal

On 17.04.2023, the first personal visit of the TED Group with four Italian dealers finally took place in Wuppertal. Present were the Managing Director of the TED Group, Michele Caterino and four other dealers: U.D. DISTRIBUZIONE S.R.L. (Naples), CALLEA VINCENZO S.R.L. (Monopoli), MONTINARO LUIGI S.R.L. (Lecce) and Lomotec S.r.l.s. (Catania). The cross-departmental visit was actively accompanied by colleagues from the ETRIS Bank and the Building Services Division.

EDE International has been cooperating with the TED Group since 2022. It is a subsidiary of the IGH Group consisting of 12 dealers in the Italian region with a focus on plumbing, heating and installation.

The aim of the dealers’ first visit was to get to know EDE and the people involved and, in particular, to work out concrete starting points for a cooperation. In the unusually sunny weather for Wuppertal, the guests were given a guided tour of the warehouse and were able to see for themselves our modern and efficient logistics and other services from the financial sector provided by our sister company ETRIS Bank and the building services department.

Annegret Franzen (CEO EDE International), Martin Ochelski (Sales Director & Key Accounts, Cooperations AT + CH + IT and Eastern Europe) and Carmelo Palumbo (Representative and Internal Support Italy) were happy about the interesting exchange with the Italian guests, which was rounded off by a joint dinner. Michele Caterino concluded enthusiastically: “We are overwhelmed by the performance of the EDE in general and the eLC warehouse in particular!”

Martin Ochelski added: “The first meeting was essential to present the services of E/D/E and to start the cooperation. Now we will define the next steps and successively start the cooperation with the dealers on a bilateral level”.

Good luck and success in the young cooperation!!

Further info:



Grand opening of EHLIS logistics centre in Illescas, Toledo

On Friday 17 March 2023, the grand opening of the new EHLIS automated logistics centre took place in Illescas, Toledo. More than 400 enthusiastic visitors from home and abroad were present, including suppliers, the Regional Minister for the Economy, Enterprise and Employment, Patricia Franco, the Mayor of Illescas, José Manuel Tofiño, various members of the Regional Ministry and the City Council, employees of CECOFERSA, Delcredit España, EDE International and – as is always the case at EHLIS events – a large number of family members of the founding family.

In his welcoming speech, Alejandro EHLIS reported on the general data of the new logistics centre, which has been under construction for almost two years since the start of construction on 21 April 2021. EHLIS built the logistics centre on a total of 60,000 square metres of land, covering around 22,000 square metres, and thus still has sufficient free space for possible future expansion. The logistics centre has a 36-metre high, fully automatic high rack with a capacity of 30,000 pallets, a likewise automatic system for transport containers and a final conventional palletising area. All this, says Alejandro Ehlis, “equipped with the latest technology.”

In addition to the numbers, data and facts about the new modern location of the 125-year-old family business, EHLIS emphasised above all its own quality standards “If we want to double our anniversary one day and reach 250 years (even if we ourselves won’t live to see it), we must continue to work hard, continue to invest and, above all, fulfil all our commitments to our suppliers, our partners and our own employees.”

We warmly congratulate EHLIS on this successful event!

Present for this year’s 125th anniversary of the cooperation partner EHLIS

On the occasion of the dinner at the board meetings of CECOFERSA and the joint venture Delcredit España S.A. on 15.3.2023 in Madrid, Annegret Franzen, Managing Director EDE International AG, and Mayte Jakstait, International projects, business relations & communications Manager, had a special surprise in their luggage. They presented Alejandro and Ignacio Ehlis, Managing Directors of EHLIS S.A., with a gift for this year’s 125th anniversary in the form of a personalised skyline watercolour. The watercolour, which had been individually created for the occasion, was the skyline of Barcelona mirrored with the skyline of the Bergisches Land. A special feature was that the headquarters of both companies in Barcelona and Wuppertal had been inserted, thus building a bridge between the two companies.

EHLIS had already been started in 1898 by Reinhardt Ehlis as a small company in Barcelona, at that time as a commercial agent for German hardware products. This year, the owner-managed family business in its 4th generation looks back on 125 years of history and has developed into one of the most important purchasing and marketing organisations on the Spanish market.

 “Although our cooperation has only existed for a comparatively short time, we feel that our companies have a strong partnership due to the many parallels in our decades of history,” says Annegret Franzen. And further: “We congratulate from the bottom of our hearts and are happy and proud to be at the side of EHLIS on this special occasion”.

EHLIS and ASIDE complete the European Hardware Network (EHN) in Spain

Since the beginning of the year, the European Hardware Network (EHN) has gained two new competence partners. EHLIS is a Barcelona-based purchasing and marketing association with more than 1,500 affiliated hardware, DIY and industrial supply shops. ASIDE, with its 36 specialized industrial members in the B2B business and around 60 points of sale, mainly supplies professional end customers in the industry.

“With the acquisition of our two Spanish cooperation partners, we were able to successfully drive the expansion of EHN,” Annegret Franzen, Managing Director of EDE International, is pleased to report. EHN is a pan-European competence group initiated and organised by EDE International in 2022. With EHLIS and ASIDE, the group now consists of the following seven purchasing and marketing organisations:

CECOFERSA, Spain and Portugal
CDU in Italy
e+h Switzerland,
FERNEY, Netherlands and
E/D/E GmbH in Germany and abroad

The qualitative expansion of the partner suppliers also continues. Since the end of 2022, a total of ten contractual partners have been part of the EHN.

EHN is in cooperation talks with further European purchasing groups and suppliers and is open to constructive and effective cooperation. Always with the clear objectives in mind of a win-win situation, to create joint synergies in existing markets and to expand cooperation in new markets.

Further information www.ehn-info.com

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