UK Markets closed

Hilco puts DIY chain Homebase up for sale

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2-min read
A logo on a branch of DIY store Homebase in London
Turnaround specialist Hilco, Homebase's current owner, is seeking to secure a deal from potential buyers after just over two years of getting the company back on track. Photo: Dave Rushen/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty

Beleaguered DIY retailer Homebase has been put up for sale again after a recent overhaul of the business.

Turnaround specialist Hilco, its current owner, is seeking to secure a deal from potential buyers after just over two years of getting the company back on track.

In 2018, Homebase was sold to Hilco for £1 ($1.32). Hilco, owner of HMV, has since been closing underperforming stores, slashing rents and cutting jobs to shore up the firm’s finances.

It has also shut two of Homebase's six distribution centres and secured a £95m lending facility from Wells Fargo.

It is understood the sales process will kick off in the coming days, with initial details set to be sent to prospective buyers, including other retailers and private equity firms. A stock market listing is also thought to be one of the options on the table as it seeks to secure new ownership.

If a sale goes through Homebase will have its fifth owner in just five years. Australian group Wesfarmers snapped up the chain for £340m in 2016 but its attempts to import its Bunnings home improvement brand to the UK, by converting Homebase stores, failed.

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.”

READ MORE: DIY group Kingfisher's sales jump as stores reopen after lockdown

Homebase, which has 155 shops and 15 Bathstore outlets, has benefited from a recent boom in home improvement during lockdown as people across the country were forced to stay at home to curb rising coronavirus infections.

The retailer said it hopes to build on the more than 10,000 new product lines added in the last two years, introducing new and expanded ranges by working with brand partners.

It swung back into profit last year, posting revenues of £3.2m compared to a £114.5m loss the year before.

Watch: What is inflation and why is it important?