Ferguson considers “other options” for Wolseley
USA/UK: The current economic environment has prompted Ferguson to consider other options in the intended demerger of its Wolseley UK wholesaling business.
In September 2019, US plumbing and heating group Ferguson, announced its intention to separate its Wolseley UK operations by way of a demerger into an independent UK listed company. It was originally intended that Wolseley would operate as a new company on the FTSE 250 with an estimated value of £600m.
A year on, and with the current pandemic adding to an uncertain economic environment, Ferguson says its is “assessing other separation options” in parallel with progress towards the demerger to facilitate the exit of the Wolseley UK business.
Last month, Bloomberg reported that Ferguson had kicked off a sale of its UK business, generating interest from private equity firms as well as some strategic bidders.
In the second quarter to October 31, the UK business saw revenue grow by 5.2%. Gross margins were slightly lower but underlying trading profit of $25m was $10m ahead of last year.