Travis Perkins has made an indicative offer of £553m for its rival BSS Group in a deal which would create Britain's biggest plumbing and heating supplies business.
The two companies are in "advanced discussions", with the BSS board expected to recommend the 433p-per-share indicative offer if a substantial offer is made on the same terms. Both companies' shares rose yesterday. BSS closed 34 per cent higher at 437p and Travis Perkins was up 6 per cent at 790.5p.
Travis Perkins stressed the "powerful strategic logic" of combining the companies. It said in a statement: "The board has for some time believed that further consolidation in the UK building materials merchanting sector offers significant scale benefits in terms of cost savings and improved operational efficiency to those that proactively participate."