At the capital markets event in December 2018, the Group announced the intention to strengthen the performance of Wickes and to capitalise on its clear competitive advantages in the DIY, small trade and Kitchen and Bathroom markets. At the same time the Board committed to review the options for maximising the value of Wickes in the medium term.
Since the capital markets update, the group has said good progress has been made in strengthening Wickes’s trading performance, and steps have been taken to provide Wickes with greater autonomy from the Travis Perkins group through the separation of its systems and processes. After reviewing the options, the Board has determined to demerge Wickes to shareholders as a standalone business.
The demerger of Wickes is a key component of the overall Travis Perkins strategy to focus on trade customers and to simplify the Group which the Board believes will underpin the creation of enhanced value for shareholders. It is expected to complete in H1 2020.
The Board believes that Wickes, under a management team led by David Wood, is well positioned to thrive as a stand-alone business. Wickes will have the autonomy to execute on its strategy and allocate capital to its customer proposition and growth opportunities with a clearer focus.
Last year, Wickes announced it will axe 100 head office jobs from its base in Watford as a cost-saving strategy amongst difficult trading conditions. The retailer said: “In order to continue to drive growth for our business, we have been re-shaping our support centre to allow us to be leaner and more agile, and focus on key areas of growth in our multi-channel / digital businesses."