Homebase up for sale again

DIY chain Homebase has been put up for sale by owners Hilco Capital following a successful turnaround period for the brand.

The move comes just over two years after the chain was bought by Hilco from Australian retail group Wesfarmers in May 2018 for just £1.

The investment and advisory firm began its Homebase rescue plan by shutting down 43 stores in late 2018.

The company then strategically expanded into bathrooms with the purchase of Bathstore in July 2019. Most recently, it introduced new initiatives like trialling a new high street kitchen and bathroom showroom and announcing plans to open its first new store in six years.

It has been reported that Hilco Capital is looking to secure a new owner by Easter 2021, and if a new owner is not found, stock market listings have been put as an option on the table.

According to several news reports, the sale process is due to start in the next couple of days as prospective buyers – including other retailers and private equity firms – have already been sent initial details.

In a statement – sent directly to kbbreview – Homebase said: “Having built an excellent foundation, Homebase is moving out of its turnaround phase and entering into an exciting new chapter of growth. Now is the right time for us to be starting conversations with potential new owners to accelerate our plan.”

Wesfarmers bought the chain from Home Retail Group for £340 million in 2016 in a bid to ‘complement the strong growth trajectory of the Australian and New Zealand business’. However, the chain was up for sale again in 2018 after a rocky takeover.

The Homebase chain currently operates 155 stores nationwide and 16 standalone Bathstore outlets. In 2019 the company finally saw profits of £3.2m compared with the losses of £114m in 2018.

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