Saint-Gobain divests UK distribution business

Saint-Gobain divests UK distribution business

A Jewson distribution centre in Wishaw

Materials and solutions provider Saint-Gobain has signed a binding agreement for the sale of all its merchanting brands in the United Kingdom – including the builders and timber merchant Jewson – to the Stark Group following a competitive sale process.

The divested assets are expected to generate revenues of around €2.7 billion in 2022 with an operating margin of around 2%. They comprise 600 outlets and employ 8,900 people.

The divestment is based on an enterprise value of £740 million. This transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 and is not subject to any external conditions. Saint-Gobain will then no longer have any distribution businesses in the United Kingdom.

It follows the divestment of specialist distribution brands in the United Kingdom over the last 18 months representing around €650m of revenues at around breakeven in
terms of operating margin, based on an enterprise value of around €200m. These divestments are part of Saint-Gobain’s continued business profile optimization strategy to enhance the Group’s growth and profitability in line with its ‘Grow & Impact’ plan.

Mike Newnham, CEO of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK, said: “Saint-Gobain is a great business and our distribution businesses are proud to have been part of the Group for more than 20 years. We’re now delighted to be joining The STARK Group and entering a new chapter of growth for our businesses and our 8,900 dedicated colleagues.

“We’ll continue to focus on developing our services and solutions and delivering a great customer experience right across our brands to the 100,000’s of customers who rely on us each week to deliver their projects. Looking forward the construction industry has a very important role to play helping customers to decarbonise homes and renovate homes, and build good quality buildings and infrastructure for the future.”

Stark Group CEO Søren P. Olesen said: “We have a strategy that successfully focuses on professional craftsmen and the renovation and maintenance market, which this acquisition fits very well into. In 2019, we bought Saint-Gobain’s German distribution business, and there are many similarities in this acquisition. We will do our utmost to develop, grow and invest behind the company making it the professional craftsmen’s preferred choice in the UK. We have acquired a business with whom we can continue our growth journey.

“Despite the current tough macro-economic environment, the fundamental drivers for the renovation and maintenance market in the UK with its large need for energy renovation in the coming decades are attractive. We are on a strong growth trajectory, at the heart of which is being a good corporate citizen, we value all of our existing employees and are proud of our contributions to bringing down emissions.”

Nadine Matthews, managing director at Jewson, added: “Saint-Gobain is a great business and under Saint-Gobain’s ownership Jewson has developed its offer for customers a huge amount. We’re delighted to be embarking on the next phase of our journey under the new ownership of The STARK Group.

“We’re transforming how we serve our local builders and trade customers from our nationwide Jewson network in line with our commitment to provide a market leading and hassle free customer experience. Equally, for national housebuilders, we have a growing network of strategically located supply chain hubs that support these customers with the increasingly sustainable solutions they need. Our Jewson Partnership Solutions brand is innovating its offer to help social housing customers provide people with high quality, efficient homes.

“Our unique Build Aviator end-to-end estimating and project management service is taking hassle away for customers and our digital transformation is well underway. With The Stark Group’s support and backing, and with more than 6,200 brilliant colleagues in our Jewson family, we’re confident about the tremendous opportunities in the construction market in the years ahead.”

Share icon
Share this article: