Wolseley splashes out on online bathroom retailer Bath Empire

Kasmira Jefford
Follow Kasmira
WOLSELEY has bought a major stake in UK online bathroom retailer Bath Empire for an undisclosed sum, the plumbing supplies group said yesterday.

The FTSE 100 company, which employs around 50,000 people around the world, set out its plans last year to expand by making further bolt-on acquisitions in all its core markets.

The deal will help boost Wolseley’s exposure to consumers, as opposed to tradesmen, carrying out more of their own DIY projects.

“The UK business to consumer online bathroom market is growing rapidly and BathEmpire.com gives us an established brand with a scalable platform and the opportunity to build a significant presence over time, ”chief executive Ian Meakins said. Bath Empire , which was founded in 2009, has 150 employees at its offices in Nuneaton, near Coventry.

The group generated £26m of revenues last year.

Wolseley, which did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, said it will have the option to buy the remaining stake it does not own in Bath Empire at a future date.