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

Victorian Plumbing has bought its arch rival online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum in a deal worth £22.5 million. (Victorian Plumbing/PA)
Victorian Plumbing has bought its arch rival online bathroom retailer Victoria Plum in a deal worth £22.5 million. (Victorian Plumbing/PA)

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

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

Victorian Plumbing said a cost-cutting plan was already under way at Doncaster-based Victoria Plum, given its recent administration process, including recent staff cuts.

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

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.

“We are pleased to welcome the existing Victoria Plum team to our group and look forward to continuing to provide customers with a fantastic range of bathroom products and accessories.”

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

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

It will keep both brands initially.

“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 last October by AHK Designs, which is a subsidiary of the firm that owns brands including Beds.co.uk and furniture retailer Cox & Cox.

But cost cutting has seen a number of roles cut since the pre-pack deal, with around 140 workers transferring to Victorian Plumbing as part of the acquisition.

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