Moritz, part of the Moritz Holdings property development group, wants to establish itself as a big player in the sector though does not expect to challenge the likes of Grafton and Wolseley.

Sean Moran, managing director of Moritz Trading, told TTJ that the company’s three acquisitions so far, also including Commons Hardware Ltd and PH Ross, would be followed by further takeovers and new store openings.

“O’Mahony’s is a long-established, well-respected business in Dublin and we see it as a god fit,” said Mr Moran. “It has quite a substantial turnover of €20m and a strong market position in the Dublin market.”

O’Mahony’s also has a distribution centre in Kildare for the bulk sale of timber products. Both Tommy and Eddie O’Mahony will retire at the end of May but other members of the O’Mahony family will remain with the business.

Moritz will cross-fertilise expertise in its acquisitions, with O’Mahony’s to offer plumbing and heating products without diluting its core timber sales, while heating specialist PH Ross will have timber and other building materials added to its offering.

“There are a number of independent merchants in Ireland who are in the mood of thinking of selling up,” added Mr Moran.

He said Moritz was putting “significant” resources into its merchanting business and and a number of other potential acquisitions were “in the pipeline”.