Wolseley UK has agreed to sell its Build Center division to Jewson. Build Center has 155 branches across the UK and employs 1,600 people.

Build Center – the fourth largest builders' merchant chain in the UK – employs around 1,600 people and operates through a network of 155 branches. In 2010, its turnover was £316 million, and it made a £4 million trading profit in the 11 months to June.

Jewson currently has 500 branches across the UK, and is part of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution (SGBD). SGBD is also in talks to buy Wolseley's French plumbing and heating business Brossette. Together, both deals are estimated to be worth £310 million, with the Build Center purchase worth approximately £145 million.

This transaction is strategically consistent with Wolseley UK’s ambition to focus its efforts and investment on businesses that are of sufficient scale and which are equipped to compete successfully for market leadership.

Wolseley UK’s Managing Director Steve Ashmore said:  “I truly believe that selling Build Center sets them free to realise their full potential. Equally important, it enables Wolseley UK to provide our remaining businesses with the level of investment and dedication needed to achieve the aim of becoming the best merchant in all our chosen markets.”

The sale of Build Center is subject to regulatory review by the European Commission. Wolseley UK anticipates that the sale of Build Center will complete shortly after the Commission has concluded its review, which is expected to be in the last quarter of 2011.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after Wolseley UK announced it was to sell its Electric Center division to Edmundson Electrical, and less than two months after the rumours were first reported that the group was looking to sell these two divisions, as well as its Encon business.