Plumbworld completes MBO

Acquired from builders' merchant business Grafton Group

08 Jan, 19

Online Home Retail, which trades as bathroom retailer Plumbworld, has completed an MBO.

Plumbworld completes MBO

Founder and managing director James Hickman

The MBO, backed by private equity firm Panoramic Growth, was led by original founder of the company and managing director James Hickman.

Founded in 1999, Plumbworld has served over 1.5million customers and has a turnover of £26million, according to its latest financial published financial statements.

Worcestershire-based Plumbword has been part of builders’ merchant business Grafton Group, since 2006.

However James Hickman believes “it is the fight time for the MBO”, and that being independent will allow the business to take advantages of opportunities in the online bathroom market.

He commented: “The E-commerce consumer market is very fast moving and intensely competitive.

“It requires quick decision making, calculated risk taking and a ruthless focus on eliminating avoidable costs.

“We believe being independent will offer us greater agility and enable us to focus 100% of our efforts on delivery growth and improving profitability.”

Jeremy Cole and David Middleton of Cole Associates Corporate Finance acted as lead advisers to the MBO team on the acquisition and finance raising.

Panoramic’s investment was led by partner David Wilson, supported by investment director David Atkinson and received legal advice from Keith Dunsmore and his team at lawyer Valex.

James Cowper, chartered accountant, provided Financial Due Diligence with the management team having received legal advice from Richard Norton of Charles Russell Speechlys.

Arbuthnot Latham, led by Andrew Rutherford, received legal advice from Jon Brew at Irwin Mitchell.

The Grafton Group was advised by Squire Patton Boggs.

James Hickman recently said suppliers were taking a hard line against online retailers, as the internet provides price transparency.