Australian retailer Wesfarmers have bought Homebase from Milton Keynes based Home Retail Group for £340 million. All outlets will be rebranded as Bunnings over the next five years.
Homebase is the second largest home improvement and garden retailer in the UK and Ireland, with 265 stores and reported revenue of £1,461.2 million for the 12 months ended 29 August 2015.
On announcing their initial offer, Wesfarmers described the strategic rationale for the acquisition:
- The UK home improvement and garden market is an attractive and growing market
- Homebase delivers an established and scalable platform with stores that are the right size for the UK market and support warehouse merchandising and a low cost operating model
- The acquisition would be the first step in a program which would invest in the Homebase team and reinvigorate core Homebase assets to build an exciting new Bunnings-branded business over three to five years
- The existing Homebase performance will be enhanced in the short-term through operational improvement
Based in Western Australia, Wesfarmers’ business interests include supermarkets, hotels, home improvement and office supplies, department stores, and an industrials division which has businesses in chemicals, energy and fertilisers, coal, and industrial and safety products. It is Australia’s largest private sector employer with approximately 210,000 employees.