Future unclear for Homebase UK marketing department after £340m Wesfarmers deal

Chris McDonough: the Homebase marketing director was appointed in November last year
Chris McDonough: the Homebase marketing director was appointed in November last year

The future of Homebase's marketing department and marketing director Chris McDonough is uncertain as the DIY brand's £340m takeover by Australian retail group Wesfarmers nears completion.

The soon-to-be new owners of Homebase has said it plans on using its own management team for the UK operation.

Homebase will be renamed Bunnings once parent firm Home Retail Group's shareholders approve the bid.

While Bunnings is bringing in its own team, the company is also understood to be keeping on Homebase chief executive Echo Lu for at least a year and said that there would be opportunities for Homebase staff.

Home Retail Group would not comment on whether McDonough would be leaving or not, while a spokeswoman for Wesfarmers told Marketing that given the deal is still not ratified, it was too early to comment.

However, Bunnings said that it "wants to build a management team that brings together talent from Bunnings and talent from within the existing [Homebase] business".

It added: "There will be lots of opportunities for those who are excited and energised about the future."

McDonough was appointed as Homebase marketing director in November last year, replacing Jo Kenrick. He was formerly UK marketing for Asda.

Bunnings’ UK management will include Wesfarmers alumni Peter Davis as managing director, and Rodney Boys as finance director.

The company plans to invest an additional £500m into the "Homebase team and assets to build a Bunnings-branded business over three to five years".

John Gillam, Bunnings’ managing director, said: "Homebase has an established and scalable store platform with strong representation in high density areas.

"The stores are well-sized for the UK market and support warehouse merchandising and a low cost operating model.We will combine essential local elements with the best of Bunnings to bring customers in the UK and Ireland an exciting new home improvement and garden offer."

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