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Irish DIY businesses bought by Harleston Group

Irish tiles and bathroom retailer Tubs and Tiles, and heating and plumbing supplier Heat Merchant have been bought by Hevac Ltd parent group Harleston.

Irish-based heating and plumbing supplier Hevac bought the businesses for an undisclosed sum

The businesses had been part of the BHT Group, which went into examinership in February with debts of €31.8m. Kieran Wallace of KPMG was appointed liquidator of the group by the High Court, and sold the businesses, along with trade and assets, to Harleston this week.

The acquisition means 220 out of the 314 jobs in Heat Merchants and Tubs and Tiles are secured, and 32 of the 36 branches of Heat Merchants will be taken over. 12 of the Tubs and Tiles stores will be acquired, and Hevac said the businesses will continue to trade as normal.

Hevac md Seamus English said: "The acquisition of these businesses is welcome for several reasons. In effect, it saves and recapitalises two well positioned businesses which have been stressed for some time because of an onerous debt burden.

"It also adds strong networks and well-regarded brands to the Harleston Group. Importantly, it secures 220 jobs in these businesses. Harleston Group is a long-established company and we understand these businesses and the markets in which they operate. We intend to strengthen and develop the businesses in the medium to long term.

"We look forward to working with management and staff to address the challenges and revitalise Heat Merchants and Tubs and Tiles."

Customers who have deposits with the acquired businesses will have these honoured by the new owners.

Still unknown is the future of Brooks builders' merchants, also part of the BHT group. The future of the business and its 120 retail staff is likely to be decided by the liquidator next week, according to reports.

Source : DIY Week

23 April 2012
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