£3m rescue deal saves 400 jobs at online retailer

Screwfix Dudley. Credit: Google Earth

Trade retailer Screwfix has saved 400 jobs after acquiring Connect Distribution Services out of administration.

The firm, which is part of the Kingfisher group has completed a £3m deal for the stock, intellectual property, contracts and fixed assets of Birmingham-based Connect Distribution Services. The retailer of appliance spares, accessories and consumables to both tradespeople and consumers appointed Alvarez & Marsal to handle the administration process.
Yeovil-headquartered Screwfix will continue to operate the business as a “going concern”, with more than 400 current employees transferring to the Kingfisher group.
Connect Distribution Services’ online trading brands, which include sites such as eSpares, BuySpares, 4OurHouse and the Connect Trade Portal, will continue to operate as normal.
Both businesses serve B2B and B2C customers through digital and fulfilment platforms and over time, Screwfix will look to integrate Click & Collect orders through its nationwide store network. There is also potential to generate synergies with other parts of the Kingfisher Group.
John Mewett, Screwfix CEO, said: “I’m very pleased to be able to secure the future of the business of Connect Distribution Services and its brands for its customers, engineers and colleagues.

“The business’ popular ecommerce platforms have significant growth potential and they play an important role in helping tradespeople and consumers keep products in use for longer, supporting our sustainability agenda.

“As an entrepreneurial and customer-focused family business with a 50-year history, the culture is a great fit for Screwfix and we look forward to welcoming our new colleagues.”
Mark Depper, COO, Connect Distribution Services said: “I’m delighted that Screwfix and Kingfisher have recognised the strengths of the brands and will continue to run this amazing business that my father started 50 years ago. I’m confident that this new ownership will realise the full potential of the brands.”
Mike Denny, Alvarez & Marsal, Joint Administrator of Connect Distribution Services said: “We are delighted to have completed a sale of the majority of the business and assets of the CDSL group of companies to Screwfix, saving over 400 jobs. We wish the business every success under its new ownership.”

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