Dolphin owner sets sights on Bathstore
Tuesday 07 December 2010
The private equity firm that owns Dolphin Bathrooms has held talks with Bathstore over a potential acquisition of the 170-store retailer.
The plumbing group Wolseley appointed Catalyst Corporate Finance to run a sale of Bathstore, the specialist bathroom retailer, this autumn and it hopes to sell the chain for between £70m and £90m. Wolseley has previously said it may sell up to 19 of its "non-core" businesses.
Sun European Partners – the owner of Homeform Group which operates the retail chains Sharps Bedrooms and Moben Kitchens, in addition to Dolphin Bathrooms – is believed to have held early-stage talks with Bathstore over a purchase that could deliver economies of scale.
In addition to the European arm of the US buyout firm Sun Capital Partners, other private equity firms are interested in Bathstore and are set to receive the sales memorandum over the coming days. It is unclear if the UK's three biggest DIY retailers, B&Q, Wickes and Homebase, are interested.
However, sources have questioned the reported price tag for Bathstore, adding that the retailer seems to have "not traded well" over recent years. One said that its performance was "very much correlated to the housing market", which is currently suffering from a mortgage famine and stagnating prices.
For the year to 31 July 2009, Bathstore delivered a pre-tax profit of £4.54m on sales of £106.7m, according to its latest accounts. In the report, the company said that in response to "difficult market conditions" it had cut its headcount by 124 and closed 19 stores. Including exceptional items of £16.8m, Bathstore made a loss of £12.28m over the period to July 2009.
Sun European Partners – which also owns the sofa chain ScS – acquired Homeform in April 2007.
Wolseley, Catalyst Corporate Finance and Sun European Partners declined to comment yesterday.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 3 Alton Towers Air breaks down: 80 people stuck on broken down Monorail during heatwave
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...