Grafton Group to acquire Belgian merchanting business for €20.5m

Published:  24 October, 2013

Grafton Group has reached an agreement to acquire Binje Ackermans SA, a six branch builders’ merchanting business based in Brussels and trading under the MPRO brand.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 subject to obtaining approval from the Belgium Competition Authority. Binje Ackermans SA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain.

MPRO reported revenue of €50m (£40.5m) in the financial year to 31 December 2012. The total consideration payable, which will be satisfied in cash, is €20.5m (£17.4m) on a debt and cash free basis and is subject to the agreement of assets and liabilities at the date of completion. The value of the gross assets at 31 December 2012 was €20.8m (£17m).

MPRO reported a loss of €2.2m (£1.8m) for the year to 31 December 2012, which included a charge for amortisation of intangibles and restructuring costs. The acquired business is forecast to operate at breakeven for the year to 31 December 2013.

Commenting on the proposed transaction, Gavin Slark, chief executive officer of Grafton Group, said: “This transaction presents a unique strategic opportunity for Grafton to acquire a business with a leading position in the Brussels market. MPRO’s branches are an excellent geographic fit with the Group’s existing branches which are located in the west of Belgium. The proposed acquisition creates opportunities for scale related benefits and operational synergies in the areas of procurement, central services and the sharing of best practice while also providing a solid base for future growth in the Belgian merchanting market.”

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