Giant plumbers merchant to split UK and US businesses

Aaron Morby 5 years ago
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Plumbing and heating merchant Ferguson has unveiled plans to spin out its UK arm as a standalone business.

Wolseley UK formerly traded under the Plumb and Build Centers brand
Wolseley UK formerly traded under the Plumb and Build Centers brand

UK stock market listed Ferguson has been mulling a move to the US Stock Market amid boardroom concerns that its shares have been trading at a discount on the FTSE.

The wider £14bn Ferguson group, which now makes most of its profit in the US, will now focus on North America.

Wolseley plc changed its name to Ferguson plc two years ago to reflect the dominance of its US operations, where most of group profits are generated.

The plan to demerge would see Wolseley UK, which previously traded under the Plumb and Build Center brands, become an independent listed company.

John Martin, chief executive, said that the separation would further simplify the group and would enable Wolseley UK to focus exclusively on customers in the UK market.

He said: “The demerger will enable both Wolseley UK and Ferguson to focus on accelerating the execution of their independent plans, providing clear investment propositions for each business.

“Wolseley UK has a strong market position, leading customer propositions and an experienced management team with significant opportunities for development in the large and fragmented plumbing, heating and infrastructure markets.

“Ferguson will continue to execute its successful strategy, building on a strong track record of profitable growth, market outperformance and generating attractive returns for shareholders.”

Martin also announced plans to step down in November, with US Ferguson chief Kevin Murphy taking over as group CEO.

 

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