TPG showering bathroom web store with cash

Michael Bow
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A FAMILY owned bathroom fixture store based in Hull has won the backing of one of America’s biggest private equity investors.

Victoria Plumb, an online store which sells products like showers and taps, is setting up a venture with TPG Capital, the buyout giant led by private equity veteran David Bonderman.

The tie-up is thought to be worth roughly £200m and will give TPG a controlling stake in the group.

Victoria Plumb is currently owned by the Walker Group, a family owned company which also owns MFI.

Victoria Plumb’s chief executive Jason Walker said: “With TPG we have found a highly experienced, long-term partner with the right digital DNA to help us achieve our maximum potential.”

The company last posted a £6m profit in the year ending February 2013 on the back of £26.3m in sales.

TPG Capital principal Malte Janzarik said: “We have been looking for high growth companies that fit into our investment theme of digital disruption. Victoria Plumb represents an exciting opportunity to build one of the leading e-commerce companies in the UK.”

KPMG advised on the sale.

Victoria Plumb was founded in 1999 and employs 72 people, according to its last set of accounts.

The appetite for online-only retailers was bought into sharp focus last month with the flotation of AO World, which soared on its market debt due to a surge in investor demand.

TPG Capital’s last publicly announced deal based in the UK was on Monday when it revealed it had backed a new mining venture led by the former chief executive of Xstrata Mick Davis.