Simon Oakland, CEO, Wolseley Group

2022 was certainly a year that will go down in history for its major world events and some unprecedented changes in people’s daily lives that have brought with them profound challenges.

We are seeing unprecedented upheaval in the cost of living, in energy security, and in politics of course. All businesses are having to consider carefully how they plan and respond in the short, mid and long-term.

At Wolseley, one of the ways that we’re future-proofing our business against these shocks while continuing to extend our offering to customers is to add best-of-breed capabilities to our group through acquisitions, as we work towards our vision of being the service-led partner of choice for trade professionals. And in the past year, we’ve been very busy doing so.

As we look towards the end of the year, it’s worth reflecting just how far we have evolved by adding more capabilities over the past 12 months. Here are the acquisitions we have announced:

  • Jointing Tech: a leading distributor in the power sector, and by joining forces we have strengthened not only its capabilities but those of Wolseley Infrastructure as we capitalise on the growth potential in the fast-evolving electricity market
  • Cascade Pipeline Corporation: a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialist pipe fittings and services to the UK water sector, which helps to continue our growth in the UK water market and enables us to offer exclusive product ranges
  • Bassetts, DHS, Neville Lumb and Ideal Bathrooms: these businesses were acquired from Saint-Gobain, and saw nearly 500 people joins us and further enhance our specialism in sanitary ware and geographical reach
  • Heat Merchants, Tubs & Tiles and Hevac: these three businesses in Ireland had combined revenues of around €150 million and employ more than 400 people in 47 locations. Heat Merchants focuses on the heating and plumbing sector, Tubs & Tiles is the largest tile and bathroom retailer in the country while Hevac specialises in heating systems to the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors
  • C.P. Hart: we acquired a majority stake in this bathroom specialist. This further strengthens Wolseley’s strategic growth drive and will see the business expand into the premium bathroom retail space

Each of these acquisitions is different, and each brings different capabilities to our group. But after a busy year that has seen some 1,200 people become Wolseley colleagues, it’s worth pausing to consider quite how much we have achieved this year to further build our capabilities, and extend what we can deliver for our customers as we look ahead to further growth in 2023.