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Clare Burnett

Member Article

KPMG’s Yorkshire team advises on major Wolseley online acquisition

Yorkshire KPMG advisors have achieved the sale of bathroom business Luxury for Less (trading as BathEmpire.com) to Wolseley plc which has been announced on the London Stock Exchange this morning.

Wolseley plc is the world’s largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products to professional contractors and a leading supplier of building materials in North America, the UK and Continental Europe.

Group revenue for the year ended 31 July 2014 was £12.8 billion and trading profit was £761 million.

In the year ended 31 December 2014 BathEmpire.com generated revenue of £26 million.

BathEmpire.com was founded in 2009 and has 150 employees. This acquisition gives Wolseley a strong position in the UK B2C online bathroom market and a scalable platform to support future growth.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ian Meakins, CEO of Wolseley plc, said: “The UK B2C online bathroom market is growing rapidly and BathEmpire.com gives us an established brand with a scalable platform and the opportunity to build a significant presence over time.”

Christian Mayo, who leads KPMG’s Leeds Corporate Finance team advised the shareholders of Birmingham based Luxury for Less, which trades as bathempire.com, and Dave Irwin from Sentio Partners advised Wolseley plc, which has multiple retail outlets and operations in Yorkshire.

Mayo said: “This is a great example of a strategic deal, with Wolseley seeking to enter the bathroom products market through its acquisition of bathempire.com.

“Our sector insights, having advised Victoria Plumb last year on its sale to TPG, helped us to secure a successful transaction for bathempire.com, positioning it as an exceptionally attractive target, with its strong sourcing relationships and scalable online sales platform.

“Wolseley’s investment will allow the company to grow as part of the world’s largest trade distributor of plumbing and heating products.

“The deal is the latest demonstration of a large corporate acting on their growth ambitions and suggests M&A will be a prominent feature on Boardroom agendas for 2015”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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