Ferguson has sold its UK plumbing and heating distribution business Wolseley UK to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a global private investment firm for £308 million (c. $420 million).
The transaction is expected to complete at the end of January 2021 and Rothschild & Co is acting as financial advisor to Ferguson plc in relation to the sale.
In the year ended July 31, 2020 Wolseley UK generated revenue of $1,879 million and underlying trading profit of $8 million on a pre-IFRS 16 basis. Its gross assets at July 31, 2020 were $1,093 million.
Following completion of the sale, future responsibility for the UK defined benefit pension scheme will be retained within the Ferguson plc Group.
At July 31, 2020 the net pension liability was $27 million on an IAS 19 basis. Excluding the net pension liability, the net operating assets of Wolseley UK at July 31, 2020 were $378 million.
Chief executive of Ferguson Kevin Murphy commented: “Wolseley is a leading heating and plumbing distribution business in the UK and we are confident the business will benefit from working with its new owners, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice who will develop the business further by focusing on continued opportunities in the industry.
“We’d like to thank all our associates for their tireless hard work while they have been part of the Group, especially recently through the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish them all the very best for the future.
“The transaction further simplifies the Group and allows us to focus entirely on investing in and developing our business across North America where we have the greatest opportunities for profitable growth.”