Bristol building products group Burdens offloads half its branches to rival

November 2, 2012

Bristol-based building products supplier Burdens is to sell 22 of its 50 branches to rival Wolseley UK for £30m.

Around 600 of Burdens’ employees will transfer to Wolseley UK, which is retaining the Burdens brand name and will run the branches as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Emersons Green-based Burdens, which describes itself as the UK’s leading supplier to the infrastructure, environmental and industrial markets, was established in Birmingham by Wilfred Thomas Burden in 1929. Its branches,  spread across the UK and Ireland, supplying pipes, bricks, concrete and other building materials to the infrastructure, utilities, construction and environmental sectors.

Chief executive Jeremy Burden said “The move will enable the Burdens business to be taken to the next stage of its development and will provide it with the level of focus required to continue to realise its full potential in the UK market.

“We are confident that the transaction will represent an opportunity to enhance service levels to both customers and suppliers and is positive for the employees involved.”

Wolseley UK managing director Steve Ashmore added: “Today’s agreed deal marks another exciting milestone in Wolseley UK’s development.

“We believe the utilities market, particularly the water industry, offers many growth opportunities and this purchase would put us in a great position in that market. The deal is also in line with Wolseley UK’s strategy to hold leading market positions in all of its businesses.”

Wolseley UK parent group Wolseley plc is the world’s number one distributor of heating and plumbing products and a leading supplier of builders’ products to the professional market.

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