Builders and plumbers merchant group Wolseley has sold its Irish businesses to private investor-backed concern WIBHM Limited.
The deal includes the Heat Merchants, Brooks, Tubs and Tiles and Encon Ireland trading brands and also includes the Brooks business in Northern Ireland. The combined businesses have 67 branches and some 650 employees.
The total price is £23.8m with £5.8m in cash paid on completion and the rest
satisfied through a loan note issued in favour of Wolseley at a coupon of 10%, to be repaid within one year.
Wolseley is disposing of the businesses in line with its strategy of focusing its activities where they have built sufficient scale, established leading market positions and can deliver an appropriate financial return.
In the year ended 31 July 2009, the businesses had combined sales of £204m £30m. On a pro forma basis, sales for the 5 months ended 31 December 2009 were £67m and underlying operating losses were £4.6m
Ian Meakins, chief executive of Wolseley, said:”I am confident that the transaction we have concluded with WIBHM Limited represents a good outcome for Wolseley’s shareholders. It will also enable us to bring an
even greater degree of focus on driving performance improvement in our core UK businesses.”