2020-11-11 13:16:16 | Homebase up for sale once more



Story by: Telegraph reporters The Telegraph

DIY chain Homebase is up for sale once more following a recent major overhaul to revive its fortunes.

Turnaround specialist Hilco is looking to sell the retailer after getting it back on track and amid a booming home improvement market.

The move comes just over two years after the DIY and garden centre chain was sold to Hilco for £1 after a disastrous spell under the ownership of Australian group Wesfarmers.

Wesfarmers bought the chain for £340m in 2016 but its attempts to bring its Bunnings home improvement brand to the UK by converting Homebase stores failed spectacularly.

Hilco has since carried out a widespread overhaul, shutting underperforming outlets, axing head office jobs, securing rent reductions and slashing costs to recover from steep losses.

It is understood the sales process will start in the coming days, with initial details set to be sent to prospective buyers – including other retailers and private equity. 

The group is hoping to secure new ownership by next Easter. A stock market listing is also said to be one of the options on the table.

The move comes as DIY stores have enjoyed buoyant trading as Britons have turned to home improvement projects during the coronavirus lockdown.

If a sale is achieved, it would see the fourth owner for Homebase in just five years.

The chain now has 155 shops and 15 Bathstore outlets with more than 6,600 employees. At its peak it had 250 stores and 12,000 staff.

Homebase returned to profit in 2019 with underlying profits of £3.2m against losses of £114m in 2018.

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It also bought retailer Bathstore out of administration in July last year.

Hilco also closed two of Homebase’s six distribution centres and secured a £95m lending facility from Wells Fargo.



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Source References: The Telegraph

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