Wolseley UK has bought 22 Burdens branches across the UK for around £30 million, with the transfer of around 600 employees.

Burdens is a UK supplier of utility and civil engineering products, and Wolseley believes the acquisition will complement Drain Center's product offering, providing customers with more choice. The deal gives Wolseley UK the opportunity to build on its position in the utilities market and to gain a leading role in the underground drainage sector.

Steve Ashmore, managing director of Wolseley UK, said: “Today’s deal marks another exciting milestone in Wolseley UK’s development. We believe the utilities market, particularly the water industry, offers many growth opportunities and this purchase would put us in a great position in that market.

Jeremy Burden, chief executive of WT Burden, said: “Wolseley UK will provide Burdens with the level of focus it requires to realise its full potential in the market. It will benefit from being a part of a much bigger business, along with the financial strength that Wolseley UK possesses.”

Wolseley UK will now make a filing with the UK’s Office of Fair Trading to clear the purchase, a process as soon as possible.