Founder of Toolstation sells stakefor £24m

Travis Perkins bought 30 per cent of Toolstation in 2008 for £18m, and expanded it to 103 outlets
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The Independent Online

Mark Goddard-Watts has pocketed £24m after he sold the remainder of the hardware supplier business he founded just eight years ago to Travis Perkins, the owner of the DIY retailer Wickes.

Travis Perkins, which operates the UK's biggest network of builders' merchants, acquired 30 per cent of Toolstation in 2008 for £18m, and since then has expanded it from 12 outlets to 103 today.

The group said yesterday it has now bought the outstanding 70 per cent of shares in Toolstation from Mr Goddard-Watts and his family trust for a further £24m.

There is a further payment dependent on Toolstation's future performance and expansion up until December 2013.

Geoff Cooper, the chief executive of Travis Perkins, said: "Toolstation offers great value and better reliability to customers who want to order and get materials in the way that suits them best – online, via their computer or mobile phone, or by a phone call to our call centre, or at our trade counters."

He added: "Following this acquisition of the outstanding equity, we will look to further exploit Toolstation as part of our service to the trade and to DIY customers."

The Bridgwater, Somerset-based hardware supplier delivered underlying profits of £5m in the year to 31 December. Toolstation is primarily targeted at tradesmen, and operates a catalogue and fast-growing online business.

Mr Goddard-Watts set up Toolstation fours years after his family sold its rival Screwfix to Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, in 1999. He will remain involved with Toolstation.

Travis Perkins said that Toolstation's new stores move into profit after an average of nine months, adding that "even the oldest branches in the network, at up to 10 years old, have yet to reach sales maturity".

The group believes Toolstation will be a "significant profit contributor".