London-based plumbing firm Pimlico Plumbers has been sold to US home services provider Neighborly in a deal that could net its founder Charlie Mullins more than £100 million ($137m).
The 68-year-old had already garnered the reputation of Britain's richest plumber with his business boasting annual sales in excess of £50m and a high-profile client list.
The deal with Neighborly is worth between £125m and £145m, according to a Financial Times source, and will see Mr Mullins sell his 90 per cent stake in the group.
In March this year, Charlie Mullins visited Dubai and spoke to The National about his plans to expand the business he founded by himself in 1979 to the UAE.
“I am playing it smart and taking my time because of the pandemic, but I’m very serious about this,” he said.
“I will bring British trained and qualified plumbers out here but I won’t charge London prices, it will be less.
Pimlico Plumbers' Dubai expansion will now be overseen by another Mullins, with Charlie's son Scott retaining a 10 per cent stake in the firm and remaining as chief executive.
“I won’t need to clean any more blocked drains. I had to make a decision whether I wanted to work for another five to 10 years to grow the business [but] Neighborly can take it to the next level,” Mr Mullins told the Financial Times.
A sentiment shared by Neighborly's president Mike Bidwell.
“Pimlico’s wide array of trade services as well as its exceptional customer care perfectly align with Neighborly’s purpose,” he said.
Neighborly was founded two years after Pimlico Plumbers in 1981 and through its portfolio of 28 brands offers home services to around 10 million residential and commercial clients.
Its purchase of Pimlico follows its own acquisition in July this year by private equity firm KKR.