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Travis Perkins plans to sell Wickes chain

The Sunday Times has reported that Travis Perkins is expediting plans to sell the Wickes business, having recently appointed David Wood – who has no DIY retail experience – as CEO.

In recent documents, Travis Perkins confirmed its intention to simplify the Group to reduce complexity and costs and to improve the performance of Wickes to create optionality for the future.  The Group has also created a new reporting structure which separates Wickes from sister company, Toolstation, and is also understood to be isolating Wickes’  IT structure.

Operating profits have fallen to £69m over the last two years, a decline of around a third. A sell-off could happen by the middle of next year, according to the Sunday Times.

Travis Perkins also announced in December that it was looking to sell off its Plumbing and Heating division, as part of a focus on delivering best-in-class service to its trade customers. A sale value of £500m is expected.

Furthermore, a new Group CEO – Nick Roberts – will replace outgoing CEO John Carter in the next few weeks.

Analysts at Numis believe that Wickes could sell for between £400m and £500m if a buyer could be found. Sources told the publication that by attempting to cater to novice DIY-ers and tradespeople alike, Wickes has developed a “huge identity crisis”.

Earlier this year, Wickes was subject to an ASA ruling which found that it had increased the base price of kitchens, prior to putting in place a 50% off promotion.

Source : Insight DIY Team

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