Travis Perkins pauses Wickes demerger due to ‘extreme volatility’ in markets

The plan to demerge Wickes has been put on hold because of the current level of uncertainty surrounding the impact of coronavirus, according to parent company Travis Perkins.

The group, which includes Travis Perkins builders merchants, Wickes, Benchmarx and Tile Giant, said it is seeing ‘extreme volatility’ in the global and UK equity markets.

Travis Perkins announced the demerger in August 2019 and was on track to be completed by the end of Q2 2020. There is currently no exact date on when the restart to the demerger will happen but it said it would “defiantly” go ahead.

The pause on the demerger was taken by the Travis Perkins board so it could manage the whole group through the current situation.

The group said it expected the trading environment to change quickly in the coming weeks and added that it was too soon to get a grasp of the accurate assessment of the impact this would have on trading.

Chief executive Nick Roberts said: “Our highest priority is the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders, and we have taken decisive action to mitigate the risks we are facing as a business, and implementing contingency plans across the group.

“We are absolutely committed to fulfilling the essential role we play in the UK construction industry supply chain in keeping the UK dry, warm, maintained and operational, providing materials, working capital funding and support for our trade customers, large and small.”

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