Wolseley UK Ltd has agreed to buy Nevill Long Ltd, which operates from eight sites throughout the UK. The sale price will be adjusted on agreement of the completion accounts.

Roger Latham, chairman of Lathams, said: “The reason for the sale is that Nevill Long is not core to the group’s timber businesses and the proceeds will enable James Latham to continue its programme of extending its Nationwide network of timber depots.

“This will bring stocks of value-added timber products closer to customers, enabling an even quicker and more personal service.”

The company declined to give further details of its expansion plans, but said “watch this space”.

Nevill Long, which has been owned by Lathams since 1990, sells a variety of products, including ceilings, partioning, drylining, lighting, washroom systems, flooring and insulation.

Its net assets at September 30 2005 were £3.5m and sales for the half year totalled £12.8m.