Woodie’s owner Grafton acquires Leyland SDM for £82.4m

Acquired firm is London’s largest independent specialist decorators’ merchant

Grafton chief executive Gavin Slark said the acquisition was a ’unique opportunity’.

Grafton Group, the owner of DIY chain Woodie's, has acquired Leyland SDM for £82.4 million.

The company, which has operations in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium, said the sum would be paid on a debt-free, cash-free basis from its cash and debt facilities.

Leyland SDM is London’s largest independent specialist decorators’ merchant. Grafton said it was regarded as one of the “most recognisable and trusted” decorating and DIY brands in central London selling paint, tools, ironmongery and accessories.

“It prides itself on high levels of customer service, maintaining long standing relationships and carrying a strong reputation with both trade professionals and DIY customers,” it said.


Leyland SDM operates through a portfolio of stores which have been built up over the last 30 years during its period of family ownership.

Prominent locations

Its network of 21 convenience-led and predominantly high street stores, are situated in some of London’s most prominent locations including King’s Road Chelsea, High Street Kensington, Shaftesbury Avenue, Victoria, Clerkenwell, and Notting Hill.

In the last two years, it has further expanded its footprint with four new stores opened in Battersea, Mile End, Clapham High Street and Putney as well as opening a new distribution centre at Wembley.

The Leyland SDM “small box” convenience trading format is a proven business model in central London that “complements the company’s larger Selco branches” located in greater London.

Gross assets

Leyland SDM’s revenue and underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was £47.8 million and £7.3 million respectively for the year ended December 31st, 2017. Gross assets are estimated at circa £10 million at completion.

Grafton chief executive Gavin Slark said the acquisition was a "unique opportunity to acquire a leading brand with exceptional locations in central London".

It would, he said, expand the company’s presence in a “resilient segment of the merchanting market located at the heart of one of the world’s leading cities”.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter