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Freshfields advises Saint-Gobain on sale of distribution business in the UK

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ('Freshfields') is advising Saint-Gobain on the sale of all of its merchanting brands in the UK – including the builders and timber merchant Jewson – to the Stark group.

The divested assets are expected to generate revenues of around €2.7 billion in 2022 with an operating margin of around 2%. They comprise 600 outlets and employ 8,900 people. The divestment is based on an enterprise value of £740 million, i.e. around €850 million.

Saint-Gobain will then no longer have any distribution businesses in the United Kingdom.

This transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 and is not subject to any external conditions.

The Freshfields team was led by corporate partners Sundeep Kapila in London and Olivier Rogivue in Paris alongside Michael Black, senior associate, and Nicola Willson, associate. The team in London included partners Richard Lister advising on IP and commercial workstreams, May Smith on tax, Kathleen Healy and Dawn Heath on employment and pensions and counsel Joseph Biesterfield on financing.