UPDATE 1-Britain’s Travis Perkins to return cash to shareholders after plumbing exit

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LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Travis Perkins, Britain’s largest seller of building materials, will return cash to shareholders following the sale of its plumbing and heating business to a subsidiary of investment firm HIG Capital for £ 325 million ($ 461 million).

The group said Friday it would return the net proceeds to shareholders through a combination of a special dividend of 35 pence per share and a share buyback program.

It said that in addition to splitting off its Wickes home improvement business last month, the sale of plumbing and heating represents the completion of its plan to shrink the size of its portfolio, which was first outlined in 2018.

The deal is expected to be completed within the next three months.

“Looking ahead, the group has a bright future as the UK’s leading supplier of construction products and we look forward to setting out our plans later in the summer to continue to drive growth,” said Travis Perkins CEO Nick Roberts.

Shares in Travis Perkins closed at 1,616 pence on Thursday, valuing the group at £ 3.6 billion.

$ 1 = 0.7043 pounds Reporting by James Davey; edited by Guy Faulconbridge and David Evans

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