The UK plumbers merchant market contracted again with the sale of Saint Gobain’s Graham Plumbers Merchant business to competitors Wolseley and UK Plumbing Supplies. The latter will take the majority of the Graham branches, as well as the Graham brand name and website, with a smaller number of branches will be divested to Wolseley.
The transactions are expected to be completed over the coming weeks and are part of Saint-Gobain’s policy of concentrating on those businesses whereit sees most growth and profitability potential.
The Graham Plumbers Merchant generated a turnover of about €260 million last year. It has bbeen part of the Saint Gobain portfolio since the early 2000s. It started out in 1936 in Glasgow under the name Thomas Graham & Son and today has about 130 outlets and 840 employees.
UK Plumbing Supplies is the umbrella company for a number of plumbers merchant brands acquired in the last few years, including Willbond, HPS, Plumbase and Pavis. The sale of Wolseley UK was completed in January by Ferguson, the FTSE 100 listed distributor of plumbing and heating products chiefly in north America, to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, the US private equity firm. In the year to the end of July 2020 Wolseley UK generated revenue of £1.35bn ($1.9 bn) and made an underlying trading profit of £5.7m ($8m).