The Home Depot® announced that it will acquire Orlando, FL-based wholesaler Hughes Supply for an aggregate consideration of $3.47 billion, including the payment of $46.50 per outstanding share and the assumption of $285 million in net debt.

Hughes Supply will operate as part of The Home Depot Supply, a division that serves business-to-business customers, such as homebuilders, professional contractors, municipalities and maintenance professionals.

This move will more than double the size of The Home Depot Supply, with projected 2006 combined sales approaching $12 billion.

Hughes Supply has more than 500 locations in 40 states and employs about 9,600 associates. The company reported the highest quarterly net sales in its history in the third quarter ended Oct. 31. Sales for its last fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2005, were $4.4 billion. Hughes Supply Inc.'s chief executive officer and president, Tom Morgan, will leave the Orlando-based company after the purchase, according to documents Hughes has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Morgan, who joined Hughes as president in 2001 and added the CEO title in 2003, would be replaced by Joe DeAngelo, the Home Depot executive vice president who runs Home Depot Supply, the documents state. DeAngelo would lead the combined operation.