Wolseley sells another Center brand

Builders and plumbers merchant group Wolseley UK has sold its Electric Center electrical products distribution business.

The new owner is Edmundson Electrical, a distributor of electrical equipment to trade and industry in the UK. Completion is expected in the next few weeks.

In the year ended 31 July 2010, the business turned over £130m, with trading profit of £1.5m. In the 10 months ended 31 May 2011, revenue was £115m and trading profit was £2.2m.

Ian Meakins, Wolseley plc’s chief executive of said: “This transaction is in line with our strategy of focusing on businesses where we can create leading market positions. Given the complementary nature of Edmundson and Electric Center, the transaction represents a good outcome for the business and its employees. We wish them every success for the future.”

In March 2010, Meakins announced that 19 Wolseley businesses could be sold if they didn’t perform to targets. At the time these were said to include the UK brands Build Center, Encon, Electric Center, Brandon Hire and Bathstore.

Brandon Hire was sold last August and the retail bathroom brand Bathstore was put up for sale at the beginning of this year although the sale later fell through when Bathstore’s year-end results proved disappointing.

Build Center is said to remain ‘under scrutiny’ although Wolseley never comments on sale speculation in the media.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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