Saint-Gobain announces plan to sell Graham the Plumbers’ Merchant

Saint-Gobain has announced that it will sell its Graham the Plumbers’ Merchant business to UK Plumbing Supplies and Wolseley.

Graham The Plumbers Merchant started out in 1936 in Glasgow under the name Thomas Graham & Son, and is one of the most recognisable names in the plumbing and heating merchant industry.

A statement by Saint Saint-Gobain said:

Saint-Gobain has entered into binding agreements for the sale of its Graham Plumbers’ Merchant business in the UK. This business is a specialist distributor for plumbing, heating and sanitary products.

With about 130 outlets and 840 employees, it generated a turnover of approximately €260 million in 2020.

The majority of the Graham outlets, as well as the Graham brand name and website name will be divested to UK Plumbing Supplies, and a smaller number of branches will be divested to Wolseley.

The transactions are expected to be completed over the coming weeks and are part of Saint-Gobain’s continued portfolio optimization strategy to enhance the Group’s growth and profitability profile.

Market movement:

This is the second big merchant sale of 2021, after Ferguson plc sold Wolseley UK to private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for £308 million in January.

Installer columnist Tim Pollard’, who has a wealth of experience in the merchant sector,r said:

“The lightside merchanting sector has experienced a seismic shift in ownership over the last 12 months and the twin threats of punishingly low margins and increasing levels of online supplies will continue to put pressure on the traditional branch supply chain. I fear that further disruptions in the plumbing and heating market will be inevitable in the short and medium term.”