Wickes acquires solar panel installer


Wickes Group plc has agreed to acquire 51% of the issued share capital of Gas Fast Limited, the parent company of solar installation company Solar Fast, for £5.1 million.

The acquisition aims to bring Wicks into the home energy systems market, initially using solar power and gas boilers, and eventually air-source heat. pumps and other services.

Mr Wicks sees opportunity in the fragmented domestic solar market, which could grow to £1.1bn by 2024 as homeowners and landlords retrofit their properties to reduce energy bills. It is predicted to grow from 1.5 billion pounds by 2028.

David Wood, Chief Executive of Wickes, said: “This acquisition allows us to leverage our expertise in constructing large-scale home improvement projects and accelerate our design and construction growth.

“The Wickes brand has been trusted by home improvement contractors for over 50 years and by introducing Solar Fast as part of our proposition we are perfectly placed to support their energy savings plans.”

Solar Fast founder and CEO David Draper will continue to work with the Wickes team to run the business.

He said: “This is great news for Solar Fast. We are family-owned and our vision has always been to be the number one provider of high quality domestic solar installations in the UK and with the Wickes brand behind us , we are getting closer to achieving that goal.” To achieve that vision, I, along with everyone on the SolarFast team, are very much looking forward to joining the Wicks family and working together to help UK homeowners become more energy independent. ”

Solar Fast installed 3,700 solar projects on customers’ homes from 2022 to 2023. For the 12 months to 30 April 2023, it generated revenue of £33.1m and reported a pre-tax profit of £3.9m.

Wicks has an option to purchase the remaining 49% of the issued share capital of the business over the next five years.

Wickes also reported stable results for 2023, with sales down 0.3% to £1,554m and pre-tax profits up 2% to £41.1m.

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