Grafton adds to Belgian business
THE BELGIAN business part-owned by Irish DIY specialist and builders’ merchant Grafton is buying a rival for €9.5 million in a deal announced yesterday.
Grafton said the joint venture operated by the company and its partner BMC Groep had agreed to buy Holvoet, a builders’ merchant based in Avelgem in southwest Belgium that has two branches.
Holvoet is selling for €9.5 million cash, subject to the finalisation of accounts. Grafton is footing the bill for the deal.
As a result, it will increase its share of the overall joint venture to 63.5 per cent from 50 per cent.
In a statement, Grafton said Holvoet had a turnover of €16.6 million in its last full year, earning a profit before tax of €1.2 million. The gross value of the assets being acquired is €7.4 million.
The deal will increase the turnover of the Grafton-BMC joint venture to €75 million a year and bring the number of branches it owns in Belgium to 11.
Grafton said the deal would strengthen the joint venture’s position in the Belgian market. It added it provided “a good platform for further growth and increases its exposure to the residential repair, maintenance and improvement, and new-build markets”.
Grafton’s share price increased 2.31 per cent to €3.45 from an opening quote of €3.327 on the back of the news yesterday afternoon. Close to 57,000 of the group’s shares changed hands in Dublin yesterday.
The group is best-known to Irish consumers for its ownership of the Woodie’s and Atlantic Homecare DIY chains. The latter recently emerged from examinership.
The overall business has sales in the region of €2 billion a year, the bulk of which comes from its builders’ merchants operations in Britain. It trades in Ireland, Britain and Belgium and had profits of €31 million in the six months ended June 30th.