// Travis Perkins pauses Wickes demerger amid “extreme stock market volatility” from coronavirus crisis
// It re-iterated its commitment to make Wickes a standalone listed retailer but would do so when things are clearer
Travis Perkins’ planned demerger of Wickes has been paused due to the “extreme stock market volatility” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a stock market announcement today, the company not only confirmed it would put the demerger of its home and DIY fascia on hold, but it would also suspend paying a full-year dividend to shareholders thanks to the “rapidly evolving situation” of the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, Travis Perkins assured investors that “good progress” had been made on the Wickes demerger in recent months and that it was put on hold so the company can “focus on managing the group through the current challenges”.
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Travis Perkins added that it was “impossible to know exactly when it will be appropriate” complete the demerger of Wickes.
Despite this, it re-iterated its commitment to make the fascia a separate, standalone listed business.
Travis Perkins is also the latest in a growing number of UK businesses that has withdrawn all market guidance in the near term due to the pandemic, and said it would update the stock market “when there is greater clarity”.
“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders, and we have taken decisive action to mitigate the risks we are facing as a business and implementing contingency plans across the group,” Travis Perkins chief executive Nick Roberts said.
“We are absolutely committed to fulfilling the essential role we play in the UK construction industry supply chain in keeping the UK dry, warm, maintained and operational; providing materials, working capital funding and support for our trade customers, large and small.
“Whilst there is unprecedented uncertainty on how the virus outbreak will directly impact our markets and our businesses, we enter this period from a position of strength and security, with a strong balance sheet and access to significant committed liquidity.”