Online Home Retail, which trades as Plumbworld, has been bought by a team led by James Hickman, one of the original founders of the business in 1999. Grafton acquired it in 2006.
In 2017 Online Home Retail made a pre-tax profit on £419,000 on a turnover of £26m from the online sale of bathroom products
James Hickman said that being part of a larger corporate group like Grafton was holding the business back. He said: “The e-commerce consumer market is very fast moving and intensely competitive. It requires quick decision making, calculated risk taking and a ruthless focus on eliminating avoidable costs. We believe being independent will offer us greater agility and enable us to focus 100% of our efforts on delivering growth and improving profitability.”
The management buyout (MBO) was supported by Panoramic Growth Equity and private bank Arbuthnot Latham. Transaction details were not disclosed.