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Wed May 22 2019

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Grafton releases Plumbworld to MBO

8 Jan Online Home Retail Limited, an online bathroom products retailer based in Worcestershire, has been acquired by its management from Irish builders’ merchant group Grafton.

Plumbworld managing director James Hickman
Plumbworld managing director James Hickman

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.

MPU

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