Hilco seeks new owner for Homebase

"Now is the right time for us to be starting conversations with potential new owners"

12 Nov, 20

Investment firm Hilco is reportedly seeking to sell DIY and garden retailer Homebase, which it bought for £1 from Australian firm Westfarmers two years ago.

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Wesfarmers bought the Homebase business for £340million, with plans to rebrand it to Bunnings, the Australian and New Zealand-based DIY business, over three to five years.

However it reported losses of £54million in its first year results in 2017 and sold the Homebase business to Hilco in 2018.

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The proposed sale by Hilco comes after a turnaround plan, which saw Homebase reduce its fixed costs by £100million.

This included a head office restructure with 38% job losses and the closure of 47 stores across the UK.

Homebase returned to profit last year, with earnings of £3.2million against losses of £114.5million in 2018.

The DIY retailer bought the struggling Bathstore business, including high street showrooms and website in 2019.

It has since trialled a high street showroom format with a dual-branded Bathstore and Kitchens by Homebase showroom in Surrey.

The DIY retailer has also submitted a planning application to open a 23,800sqft store, in Abingdon – the first new Homebase in six years.

Most recently, Homebase has announced a partnership with consumer publisher Hearst UK to offer House Beautiful and Country Living branded kitchens.

According to MSN Money, Hilco is hoping to find a new owner by Easter next year and if a sale is achieved it will be the fourth owner of the retailer in five years.

A statement provided by Homebase read: “Having built an excellent foundation, Homebase is moving out of its turnaround phase and entering into an exciting new chapter of growth.

“Now is the right time for us to be starting conversations with potential new owners to accelerate our plan.”