Huws Gray completes £520m purchase of Grafton traditional merchanting business

4 January 2022

Grafton Group plc completed the divestment of its traditional merchanting business in Great Britain on December 31, 2021.

The news means that Grafton businesses including Buildbase and The Timber Group (Beaumont / Brewer / L&G) now join expanding builders merchant group Huws Gray as part of the £520m purchase of Grafton’s traditional merchanting business division.

The sale process was first announced on July 1, 2021 and followed a comprehensive strategic review of the business which concluded that exiting this segment of the building materials distribution market in Great Britain would enable the Grafton Group to optimise shareholder value.

Over a month ago, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that the sale of Grafton Group’s traditional merchanting business to Huws Gray may result in a substantial lessening of competition in one particular geographic area.

At the time the CMA said the merger would be referred for a Phase 2 investigation unless the merging parties offered acceptable undertakings to address the competition concerns.

Grafton Group had earlier responded to the CMA statement, saying it was considering whether to accept an undertaking in lieu of a Phase 2 reference. It had added that completion of the acquisition had not been conditional on the outcome of the CMA process.

No further information has yet been publicised by the CMA, Grafton or Huws Gray on any undertakings agreed with reference to the competition questions in the specific geographic area highlighted by the CMA.