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Originating as a joint venture between Sainsbury’s and GB Inno in 1979, Homebase is the UK’s second largest home improvement and garden retailer. The business was acquired by Australian conglomerate, Wesfarmers, in 2016 with the intention of converting the stores to its Bunnings Warehouse format.

Homebase had seen declining sales since 2014 and the losses widened significantly under Wesfarmers’ ownership, with the business posting an operating loss of £128m in 2017 and a further 10.6% reduction in sales in 2018. By early 2018, Wesfarmers had resolved to exit the UK market and in May 2018 agreed to sell Homebase.

974x648 Homebase logo
Homebase case study

Hilco Capital’s role

  • Worked with the business to secure £120m of working capital facilities
  • Senior team of Hilco staff and consultants put in place to assist with the turnaround of the business and to develop and implement initiatives to improve performance
  • Drove the carve out of multiple IT systems within a six month TSA period
  • Hilco Property appointed to manage landlord negotiations, the rightsizing of the portfolio, and to negotiate new store locations
  • Managed store closures to maximise profitable sell through of obsolete stock while minimising disruption to the core business




  • EBITDA improved by £140m versus the preacquisition period
  • Achieved a 4% increase in the gross margin run rate
  • Rebuilt the customer offering, including new ranges, new concessions and the integration of Bathstore
  • Central overheads reduced by c. £34m p.a.
  • 24 Bunnings-branded stores reverted to Homebase
  • Closed 52 loss-making stores and a distribution centre, and opened five new stores to date
  • Implemented improved systems and processes to reduce stock loss by more than 30% year-on-year
  • Installed detailed cost management measures and put in place processes to increase stock quality
  • Partnered with THG Ingenuity to provide a market leading digital experience
Homebase kitchen 2