Friday, 11 March 2011
Bathstore sale may be nearing close
It has been suggested by Sky News' Mark Kleinman that the 160-strong chain of retail showrooms will be sold to private equity firm Electra Partners.
If Wolseley is to sell to Electra Partners, the private equity firm may have seen off Sun European Partners, owner of Moben Kitchens and Dolphin Bathrooms which was also rumoured to be interested in the sale.
It may also have pipped private equity firm Change Capital led by former M&S chairman Luc Vandevelde and its ex-chief executive, Roger Holmes; as well as LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds and Morgan Stanley's private equity arm.
Reports have suggested the reason for the Bathstore sales is that the company is at odds with Wolseley's portfolio, which mainly caters for trade sales.
Patrick Riley founded the Bathstore company in 1990 with Nico de Beer, who remains a company director.
He sold the Bathstore business, which was started in Croydon, to Wolseley in 2003 for an undisclosed sum and the group build the chain of 33 stores to 160.
Bathstore recorded a turnover of £104million and pre-tax profits of £4.5million in the year to July, 31, 2009.
Although Wolseley has put 19 of its companies on a list to improve or sell, it has not named any of the companies in question or identified Bathstore.