Victorian Plumbing acquires rival for £22.5m

Victorian Plumbing

Listed bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing has acquired AHK Designs Ltd, trading as Victoria Plum an online only UK bathroom retailer.

Skelmersdale-headquartered Victorian Plumbing has been locked in tetchy competition with its Doncaster-based rival with a similar name throughout their history.

The purchase price for the deal is £22.5m, on a cash free, debt free basis, subject to adjustment for normalised working capital.

The acquisition has been funded from existing cash reserves and represents c.0.5x Victoria Plum’s estimated annual revenue and reflects the “significant strategic value” of the Victoria Plum brand and its associated intellectual property.

The company’s expectation is that Victoria Plum will be broadly break even in the second half of 2024.

Victoria Plum has recently been through an administration and is undergoing a cost reduction programme in progress, so Victorian Plumbing intends to continue to trade the business as normal.

Further information will be provided next week (28 May 2024) when Victorian Plumbing releases interim results for the six month period ended 31 March 2024.

Mark Radcliffe, CEO of Victorian Plumbing, said Victoria Plum, was “a well-established brand with a solid base of customers, suppliers and product ranges.”

Adding: “The acquisition aligns with our ambitions to accelerate our growth. We are pleased to welcome the existing Victoria Plum team to our group and look forward to continuing to provide customers with a fantastic range of bathroom products and accessories.

 “This acquisition represents another exciting strategic milestone for the company and, together with the investment in our new distribution centre, provides a unique opportunity to deliver increased shareholder return.”

In 2017 the two companies were locked in a legal trade mark battle over their registered marks and the use of keywords to advertise their goods and services online.

Victoria Plum received £1.75 million from Victorian Plumbing after winning a court battle over trademark infringement relating to online advertising and search.

Victorian Plumbing was founded by Mark Ratcliffe in early 1999.

Victoria Plum was founded in March 2001, then called Victorian Plumb, by brothers Jason and Shane Walker.

Yorkshire-based private equity firm Endless bought the business from investor TPG in 2019, but called in the administrators and it was sold to AHK Designs in a pre-pack administration deal.

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