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Wesfarmers buys major UK retailer

Wesfarmers buys major UK retailer


Two law firms have advised on the acquisition of Homebase by Wesfarmers.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (Wesfarmers); Linklaters (Home Retail Group)

Deal: Wesfarmers acquired UK’s second largest DIY retailer, Homebase.

Value: £340 million

Area: M&A

Key players:
London-based corporate partner Mark Bardell led the Herbert Smith Freehills team.

Deal significance: Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Wesfarmers and its wholly owned subsidiary Bunnings on the landmark acquisition of Homebase from UK-listed Home Retail Group for £340 million.

Wesfarmers is a diversified conglomerate listed on the ASX with a market capitalisation of approximately $44 billion.

Homebase is the second-largest home improvement and garden retailer in the UK and Ireland, with reported revenue of more than £1 billion for the 12 months ended 29 August 2015 and currently has 265 stores. 

This acquisition is Wesfarmers' first step in investing in the UK to build a new Bunnings-branded UK and Ireland business. Bunnings is a home improvement and outdoor living retailer in Australia and New Zealand, with revenues in excess of $9 billion.

London-based corporate partner Mark Bardell led the Herbert Smith Freehills team, with specialist legal advice provided by the TMT, employment, pensions, incentives, tax, financial services regulatory, real estate and environment teams.

Mr Bardell commented: "We are proud to have worked with the very talented Wesfarmers and Bunnings team on this, the first major international acquisition for the group, and what will no doubt prove to be a transformative deal for the UK's home improvement sector.”

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