Travis Perkins put the division, which includes PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies stores, up for sale in December 2018 as part of a rationalisation of its business portfolio.
In July the board said that a deal was expected within the next few months. That appears to have now fallen through.
Today the company announced: “Given the current unprecedented level of uncertainty, we have decided to pause the sale process of the Plumbing & Heating business for the time being.”
However, the demerger of the Wickes business is continuing and on course to clear all regulatory processes in the second quarter of 2020, as planned. Travis Perkins had considered putting Wickes up for sale as well, after writing off £246m against it last year, but decided instead to hive it off as a standalone business under the ownership of existing shareholders.
In today’s trading statement Travis Perkins said that the group “remains on target to achieve its planned cost reductions in 2019, with actions identified or already underway to achieve £20m to £30m of annualised savings by mid-2020 which will reduce complexity, lower the above-branch cost base and speed up decision making, and improve service levels for customers”.