Equity firms circle embattled Homebase

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Homebase job cuts

Three private equity firms are believed to be mulling a bid for DIY retailer Homebase, after parent company Wesfarmers recently revealed it could offer a £100 million dowry to help offload it.

According to The Telegraph, Alteri, Endless and Hilco are reportedly circling the embattled retailer, as Australian-based Wesfarmers continues to plot a potential exit from the UK after its £340 million acquisition of Homebase two years ago.

The UK’s cold snap saw Wesfarmers report a total sales decline of 13.5 per cent to £211 million for its third quarter, alongside a like-for-like sales drop of 15.4 per cent.

The picture was the same for the financial year to date, which saw sales drop 14.7 per cent to £726 million, and a like-for-like sales decline of 13.9 per cent.

Wesfarmers has been attempting to rename Homebase stores to its Bunnings brand, but only 23 of the 250 locations have been changed so far.

In addition, Wesfarmers’ launch into the UK has backfired spectacularly, thanks to £584 million in write-downs earlier this year alongside warnings that its half-year losses would nearly triple to £97 million.

The company is now looking increasingly likely to offload its UK estate and has flown in Lazard to help seek potential buyers.

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