Grafton to buy Belgian builders merchant

Grafton, the Irish builders merchanting and DIY Group with operations in the UK, Ireland and Belgium, today said it is to acquire Binje Ackermans SA, a six branch builders merchanting business based in Brussels and trading under the MPRO brand.

The deal will cost Grafton E20.5m and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 subject to obtaining approval from the Belgium Competition Authority.

Binje Ackermans SA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint- Gobain.

MPRO reported revenue of E50 million (£40.5 million) in the financial year to 31 December 2012. The total consideration payable, which will be satisfied in cash, is E20.5 million (£17.4 million) on a debt and cash free basis and is subject to the agreement of assets and liabilities at the date of completion. The value of the gross assets at 31 December 2012 was E20.8m (£17.0 million).

MPRO reported a loss of E2.2 million (£1.8 million) for the year to 31 December 2012 which included a charge for amortisation of intangibles and restructuring costs. The acquired business is forecast to operate at breakeven for the year to 31 December 2013.

Commenting on the proposed transaction, Gavin Slark, Chief Executive Officer of Grafton Group plc said: “This transaction presents a unique strategic opportunity for Grafton to acquire a business with a leading position in the Brussels market. MPRO’s branches are an excellent geographic fit with the Group’s existing branches which are located in the west of Belgium. The proposed acquisition creates opportunities for scale related benefits and operational synergies in the areas of procurement, central services and the sharing of best practice while also providing a solid base for future growth in the Belgian merchanting market.” Source: Business & Leadership.