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Wolseley gets rid of its Irish businesses

Wolseley is selling its business Wolseley Ireland Holdings (WIHL) to private investor-backed firm WIBHM, for £23.8m (€26.5m).
WIHL comprises Wolseley's entire interest in the Republic of Ireland including the Heat Merchants, Brooks, Tubs and Tiles and Encon Ireland trading brands and also includes the Brooks business in Northern Ireland. The combined businesses operate through 67 branches and 650 employees.

As part of the deal, cash consideration of €6.5 million (£5.8 million) was paid on completion and the balance of €20m (£18m) will be satisfied through a loan note issued in favour of Wolseley.

In the year ended July 31, 2009, the heating and plumbing supplier's WIHL businesses had combined sales of €237m (£204m) and operating losses of €34m (£30m). On a pro forma basis, sales for the five months ended December 31, 2009 were €75m (£67m) and operating losses were €5m (£4.6m).

The board of Wolseley said it is 'disposing of the businesses in line with its strategy of focusing its activities where we have built sufficient scale, established leading market positions and can deliver an appropriate financial return'.

'I am confident that the transaction we have concluded with WIBHM represents a good outcome for Wolseley's shareholders', said Ian Meakins, chief executive of Wolseley. 'It will also enable us to bring an even greater degree of focus on driving performance improvement in our core UK businesses', he added.
11 January 2010


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