Steve Ashmore: sale is best for Bathstore.

Wolseley’s Bathstore sold to Endless

Published:  11 May, 2012

LEAMINGTON SPA: Wolseley UK has completed the sale of its Bathstore business to a newly-incorporated company, backed by Endless LLP for consideration of £15m, payable over the next five years.

As part of the transaction Endless has invested £11m of new capital into the business to fund its further development.

In the nine months to 30 April 2012, Bathstore generated revenue of £66m. The associated assets were £7m as at 31 January 2012 and the results of the business were classified as 'held for sale' in the half-year results.

Wolseley UK managing director Steve Ashmore said: "Wolseley has taken a strategic view in deciding to sell Bathstore. We believe it is a positive move for Bathstore and its employees and offers the best way forward for them, with an owner that is fully focused on the high street retail market.

"It is also a positive move for Wolseley, going forward, as we can concentrate entirely on our core businesses, delivering growth by providing exceptional service and access to our products through a range of channels, including our branch network and online."

Ian Meakins, chief executive of Wolseley, commented: "This disposal is in line with our strategy of focusing on our core operations."

Bathstore employs around 500 people and operates through a network of 169 stores across the UK.

Back in 2010, Wolseley appointed advisors to find a buyer for Britain's largest specialist bathroom retailer. In March 2011, the national merchant said it intended to sell 19 non-core businesses, and offloaded tool hire firm Brandon Hire to Rutland Partners. Bathstore, as a consumer business, was considered to be out of step with Wolseley's wholesale focus.

Endless, founded by Garry Wilson, has previously made successful investments in Crown Paints and school clothing company, Trutex.

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