Charlie Mullins has sold Pimlico Plumbers to a US company in a deal thought to value his stake at as much as £130m.
Pimlico is understood to have been sold for between £125m and £145m. Mr Mullins has a 90pc stake in the business he founded in 1979, with the remainder belonging to his son Scott.
Scott Mullins will remain chief executive following its sale to Neighborly, a home services outfit owned by the private equity giant KKR.
Praising his father “for creating the business out of nothing”, Scott said: "Even after Pimlico's 40-plus years of independent business success, Neighborly's proven track record for growth and its commitment to its code of values assures us that we've found a like-minded company that can help us grow."
Mr Mullins left school at 15 with no qualifications and started the firm from the basement of an estate agency with a second-hand van. It now has more than 400 staff.
A self-styled plumber to the rich and famous, Mr Mullins has never shied away from controversy. He is an outspoken opponent of Brexit and said he hoped to introduce a "no jab, no job" policy for staff earlier this year in a bid to increase Covid vaccine uptake.
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Pimlico now completes an average of more than 100,000 service jobs for central London homeowners and businesses each year and earlier this year forecast it would hit record annual sales of almost £50m.
Last month, the firm announced it was recruiting 50 new engineers to meet increased demand for home improvements, with the new hires set to earn salaries of up to £150,000 a year.
Mr Mullins hired advisers from finnCap Cavendish earlier this year to identify new investors in the business, after coming close to selling a 20pc stake in 2018.
The Telegraph revealed in February that Mr Mullins was in talks with investors in the Gulf region about taking the business international.
The acquisition of Pimlico Plumbers expands US-based Neighborly to 29 brands. Neighborly was itself acquired by KKR two months ago.
Mike Bidwell, president and chief executive of Neighborly, said: "We are thrilled to be growing our global footprint with the addition of Pimlico as the next subsidiary brand to join our global family of home service professionals.
"Pimlico's wide array of trade services as well as its exceptional customer care perfectly align with Neighborly's purpose, which is to build an extensive service community known for providing excellent experiences. We are excited for the growth to come for both Pimlico and Neighborly as a result of this acquisition," he added.
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