Ferguson PLC has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell Wolseley UK, its UK-based heating and plumbing distribution business, to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a global private investment firm, for net cash consideration of approximately £308 million.

In the year ended 31 July 2020, Wolseley UK generated revenue of £1,383 million and underlying trading profit of £5.89 million on a pre-IFRS 16 basis. Gross assets at 31 July 2020 were £804 million.

Ferguson expects the transaction will complete at the end of January 2021. Following completion of the disposal of Wolseley UK, the company intends to update shareholders on the use of the proceeds of sale. The board’s current intention is to make a return of substantially all of the net cash proceeds of sale to shareholders by way of a special dividend.

Rothschild & Co is acting as financial advisor to Ferguson PLC in relation to the disposal.

Kevin Murphy, Chief Executive of Ferguson, commented: “Wolseley is a leading heating and plumbing distribution business in the UK and we are confident the business will benefit from working with its new owners, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, who will develop the business further by focusing on continued opportunities in the industry. 

“We’d like to thank all our associates for their tireless hard work while they have been part of the group, especially recently through the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish them all the very best for the future.

“The transaction further simplifies the group and allows us to focus entirely on investing in and developing our business across North America where we have the greatest opportunities for profitable growth.”