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Grafton Group acquires Belgian merchanting chain

Building materials supplier Grafton Group, Ireland’s largest DIY retailer, has increased its market share in Belgium with the acquisition of a Brussels-based merchanting operation.

Grafton, which days ago moved is listing from the Irish Stock Exchange to London, paid €20.5m for Binje Ackermans. The deal was done through one of its subsidiaries. Binje, which trades under the name MPRO, has six builders merchanting branches in Belgium.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

The Belgium operation had sales of €50m last year but made a loss of €2.2m. Its gross assets are valued at around €20.8m.

Grafton said it expects the business to break even this year.

“This transaction presents a unique strategic opportunity for Grafton to acquire a business with a leading position in the Brussels market” said Grafton chief executive Gavin Slark. “MPRO’s branches are an excellent geographic fit with the Group’s existing branches which are located in the west of Belgium. The proposed acquisition creates opportunities for scale related benefits and operational synergies in the areas of procurement, central services and the sharing of best practice while also providing a solid base for future growth in the Belgian merchanting market.”

Grafton also holds a 65pc share in a separate Belgian operation called YouBuild, which has 11 branches in the country. YouBuild reported €34.4m worth of sales in the six months ending in June.

Source : Sarah McCabe - Independent.ie
www.independent.ie/business/irish/grafton-group-acquires-binje-ackermans-for-205m-29677123.html

21 October 2013
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