Victoria expands in the US following acquisition

Flooring manufacturer Victoria PLC has announced further growth of its North American division with the acquisition of Florida-based flooring distributor, International Wholesale Tile LLC (IWT).

Victoria has acquired IWT for a sum of $28.5m (£24.9m). The business will remain commercially independent and will further increase Victoria’s ceramic tiles distribution footprint in the very large (c.$29 billion) and resilient US flooring market.

Significant demand exists for European flooring in the US and IWT will have improved access to Victoria’s production output in Spain, Italy, and Turkey enabling it to offer a better and more extensive range of tiles to its customers. This is expected to lead to market share gains and superior financial performance over time.

Furthermore, the additional volume will benefit the income and earnings of the factories, who will secure the manufacturing margin.

Established in 1994, IWT is a specialty distributor of ceramic & porcelain tiles, natural stone, luxury vinyl tiles (“LVT”), and decorative glass tiles as well as an array of tile and stone installation systems.

Revenue has grown consistently over the last 10 years, and for the 12 months ended 31 March 2022, IWT generated unaudited revenues of $63.2m (c. £55.4m) and EBITDA of approximately $7m (c. £6.2m).

IWT’s management lead a team of c.122 employees and have committed to continue to manage the business for a minimum term of four years.

IWT sources product from suppliers in Europe, Asia, and South America and distributes from a company operated, 220,000sqft distribution facility located in Palm City (about 80 miles north of Fort Lauderdale) to more than 1,700 dealers in Florida and across the United States.

Philippe Hamers, Group Chief Executive, commented: “Victoria has been profitably selling a significant amount of product into the US$29 billion – and growing – US market for many years. The acquisition of Cali in July 2021 has proven to be very successful and IWT is a further step for Victoria into North America.

“We were particularly attracted by the passion of IWT’s management team and their operational philosophy, which prioritises customer service – ensuring product is in stock and providing rapid delivery. These are values we share at Victoria and which have driven our market outperformance in recent years.”

Geoff Wilding, Executive Chairman, said: “Whilst the Board remains mindful of the macroeconomic headwinds across the globe, it maintains a long-term view in its mission to create wealth for shareholders. Consequently, when very attractive acquisition opportunities arise, we simply focus on ensuring we are buying high quality, resilient businesses at valuations that provide a margin of safety for our shareholders. We believe IWT represents such an opportunity with its steady growth over an extended period, high quality management, and significant synergy opportunities.”

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