Victorian Plumbing buys Doncaster rival Victoria Plum in £22.5m deal

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Victorian Plumbing has bought its rival Doncaster online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum in a deal worth £22.5m.

The takeover comes just over six months after Victoria Plum went into administration and was bought in a so-called pre-pack deal with AHK Designs.

Skelmersdale-based Victorian Plumbing said a cost-cutting plan was already under way at Victoria Plum, which has its HQ in Water Vole Way, Doncaster.

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It brings together the two long-standing rivals, which met in court over a trademark dispute eight years ago.

Doncaste's Victoria Plum has struggled through a number of difficult years.Doncaste's Victoria Plum has struggled through a number of difficult years.
Doncaste's Victoria Plum has struggled through a number of difficult years.

Mark Radcliffe, chief executive of Victorian Plumbing, said the deal was “another exciting strategic milestone” for the company.

“The acquisition aligns with our ambitions to accelerate our growth,” he said, adding: "We are pleased to welcome the existing Victoria Plum team to our group."

Victorian Plumbing employs 600 staff across nine sites in Lancashire, Manchester and Birmingham.

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The firm said it expects Victoria Plum to “broadly” break even in the second half of 2024.

“Given that Victoria Plum has recently been through an administration and there is already a cost-reduction programme in progress, the company intends to continue to trade the business as normal initially, pending finalisation of our integration plan,” Victorian Plumbing said.

Victoria Plum had 300 employees when it was bought out of administration by AHK Designs last October.

It is understood that the group had suffered from higher shipping costs and a consumer spending slump.

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Earlier this year, in a message to staff and, seen by the Free Press, bosses told employees: “Today I'm sharing news about further changes we need to implement to better position Victoria Plum for long-term profitable and sustainable growth.

“The most significant and toughest of these decisions is that we are proposing to further reduce our headcount. This is not an action we take lightly, and we recognise the impact it will have on all employees.

“As a result of this process, should the proposal go ahead, we will have to say goodbye to people who have made important contributions to VP; so, we know this will not be easy.”

More than 100 people lost their jobs at the Balby-based factory last year in another round of redundancies.

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