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Friday, 1 September, 2000, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Do It All at Wickes
A man painting
Focus Do It All becomes the third largest DIY player
The UK's third largest DIY chain Wickes has been bought by its rival Focus Do It All Group for 289m.

The buyer is the country's fourth largest chain of home improvement stores, and the combined company will have 11% of the market.

The deal, which values Wickes shares at 495p, was a fair reflection of the business's strength and offered a good opportunity for shareholders to cash out, Wickes chief executive Bill Grimsey said.

"I think this is the right move for everybody," he said.

Focus Do It All's two previous hostile takeover attempts of Wickes - in March and May - had both failed as shareholders rejected offers firstly at 375p a share and then at 430p a share.

19% premium

The purchaser already owns 44.8% of Wickes and now has commitments from Wickes shareholders over a further 5.7% of the company.

The deal, which offers Wickes shareholders a 19.3% premium to the share's Thursday closing price, comes amid talk of further reorganisation in the sector.

Last week, Sainsbury's said it planned to dispose of, or bring in a partner for, its Homebase DIY business.

Homebase is the second biggest player in the sector with a 12% market share, behind Kingfisher's B&Q which has 24%.

Focus Do It All is a privately owned company, whose main shareholders include funds managed by Duke Street Capital and the firm's own management.

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23 Aug 00 | Business
Sainsbury's in Homebase talks
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