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The heating and plumbing distribution business Wolseley UK is to be sold by its American owners, Ferguson plc, to a private equity firm for £308m. Wolseley will now become an independent company wholly owned by Clayton, Dubliner & Rice (CD&R) funds and management. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of this year.
The national merchant, which has around 5000 employees, currently boasts 542 branches and operates three distribution centres. In the year to 31st July 2020, it generated revenue of £1371m and an underlying trading profit of £5.8m.
In November last year the company announced that it was undergoing a rebranding exercise to distinguish its heating and cooling focused businesses, with its plumbing heating division to be relabelled as Wolseley Plumb & Parts.
“We believe that Wolseley, as a freestanding enterprise, can accelerate growth, enhance customer service, and create rewarding career opportunities for our colleagues,” says Wolseley CEO Simon Oakland. “CD&R has extensive experience supporting branch-based networks like ours and shares our vision to continue to build Wolseley’s entrepreneurial culture and relentless focus on customer satisfaction.”