Skip to main content

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

News and awards

Clifford Chance advises Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on the acquisition of Wolseley UK in £308 Million Divestiture Transaction

5 January 2021

Clifford Chance advises Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on the acquisition of Wolseley UK in £308 Million Divestiture Transaction

International law firm Clifford Chance has advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice ("CD&R"), the U.S. based private investment firm, on its acquisition of Wolseley UK ("Wolseley"), a leading specialist distributor of plumbing, heating, climate control, pipe and infrastructure & utility products in the United Kingdom, from Ferguson plc. Through a carve-out transaction for a net consideration of £308 million, Wolseley will become an independent company wholly owned by CD&R funds and management.

The Wolseley brand dates back to the late 19th century and is one of the most respected and well-known in the UK. Today Wolseley is a leading distributor of plumbing and building materials and products, generating approximately £1.5 billion of revenue in FY2020. Nearly two-thirds of the company's revenue is derived from residential renovation, maintenance, and improvement activities. In addition to plumbing and heating products and the associated pipes, valves, and fittings, the company offers air conditioning and refrigeration products to commercial customers as well as products to the civil infrastructure and utilities markets.

Clifford Chance has a longstanding relationship with CD&R and advised the firm on its investment in LSE-listed SIG plc, a leading distributor of specialist building products in Europe, which was announced in May 2020.

The team was led by Private Equity and Global Relationship Partner Simon Tinkler, supported by Corporate Associates Zahrah Mohammed, Maria Shodeinde and Abi Birch. The tax aspects were provided by Partner Dan Neidle and Senior Associate Cameron Dwyer, the IP aspects by Partner Vanessa Marsland and Senior Associate Alex Walker, the TMT aspects by Partner Andre Duminy, the real estate aspects by Partner Catherine Cook, the pensions aspects by Partner Claire Hoxey and Senior Associate Matthew Preston, and the antitrust aspects were provided by Partner Jennifer Storey.