Grafton to acquire Belgian business
Group behind Woodies DIY chain to buy Binje Ackermans for €20.5 million
Grafton CEO Gavin Slark said that the deal presents a “unique strategic opportunity” for Grafton to acquire a business with a leading position in the Brussels market. Photograph: DAVE MEEHAN
Grafton, which operates the Woodies DIY chain across Ireland, and also has operations in the UK and Belgium, will pay € 20.5 million in cash on a debt and cash free basis and is subject to the agreement of assets and liabilities at the date of completion.The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 subject to obtaining approval from the Belgium Competition Authority
Gavin Slark, chief executive officer of Grafton Group, said that the deal presents a “unique strategic opportunity” for Grafton to acquire a business with a leading position in the Brussels market.
“MPRO’s branches are an excellent geographic fit with the group’s existing branches which are located in the west of Belgium. The proposed acquisition creates opportunities for scale related benefits and operational synergies in the areas of procurement, central services and the sharing of best practice while also providing a solid base for future growth in the Belgian merchanting market.”
Binje Ackermans is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint- Gobain and reported revenue of €50 million in the financial year to December 31st 2012 and a loss of €2.2 million, which included a charge for amortisation of intangibles and restructuring costs. It is forecast to operate at breakeven for this year. The value of the gross assets at end-2012 was € 20.8 million.
Davy Stockbrokers said the acquisition will give Grafton a strong market position in Brussels and will generate scale and operational synergies with its existing network.
"The deal again highlights the group’s ability to opportunistically use its financial strength to acquire struggling businesses at attractive prices," the broker said in a note.