Irish builders merchant chain, Grafton Group, which owns Woodies DIY and Atlantic Homecare, should look at merging with Wickes parent company Travis Perkins in the UK according to one senior Dublin analyst.
The move, said John Sheehan from NCB Stockbrokers, would save more than €500m thanks to the synergies between the two businesses - an attractive prospect in the face of an ever spiralling building market.
Mr Sheehan said the deal would give the combined group market leadership in both the UK and Irish market and make significant savings through operational efficiencies and greater purchasing power.
Grafton Group issued a trading statement this morning for the six months to June 30. It saw group turnover drop €200K to €1.4bn compared with the same period last year. However, the group's UK operations, which predominantly supply the repair and maintenance sector rather than the worse affected housing sector, saw a six per cent rise in turnover to £700m, despite a dip of two per cent in like-for-like sales.