Wolseley is selling its Brandon Hire business to private investment company Rutland Partners, it announced today.

Under the terms of the deal, Rutland Partners will pay £43 million for Brandon Hire, which employs around 960 people across a network of 177 branches. The sale is expected to be completed within 30 days.

Wolseley bought Brandon Hire in 2006 for £72 million, and first announced its intention to sell the business in July this year, saying it expected to get "less than half" what it paid for the company.

The company said the decision to sell Brandon Hire had been made on "strategic and core business activity grounds" as tool and equipment hire is no longer a core business activity within Wolseley UK.

Wolseley UK's managing director Steve Ashmore said: “Wolseley has taken a strategic view in deciding to sell Brandon Hire. This decision has not been made lightly, but we believe it offers the best way forward for Wolseley UK as well as for Brandon Hire and its employees.”