The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to investigate the purchase by plumbers merchant group Wolseley of 22 branches of ‘s civil engineering materials supplier Burdens.
Wolseley bought 22 branches for £30m from the ailing heavyside and civils specialist, which has since gone into administration.
Wolseley agreed to buy the branches in Bristol, Exeter, Hirwaun, Plymouth, Llangadog, Thurrock, Cambridge, Cardiff, Warrington, Leeds, Tadley, West Bromwich, St Asaphs, Manchester, Nottingham, Blaydon, Newmains, Glasgow, Inverness, Gatwick, Picketts Lock and Sheffield.
The Office of Fair Trading says it is considering “whether arrangements are in progress or in contemplation which, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom.”
Any comments should be sent to Androulla Soteriou, OFT, Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JX
Philip Duffy, Steve Clancy and David Whitehouse from Duff & Phelps have been appointed joint administrators to WTB Trading Ltd (formerly Burdens Ltd) and parent company WTB Group Ltd.
A buyer is being sought for 13 remaining branches, with three having already been offloaded, two of them – Cinderford and Dorchester – to independent regional chain Bradfords Building Supplies.