Building materials and plumbing supplier Wolseley PLC  is in talks to raise between GBP200 million and GBP400 million to shore up its finances, theSunday Telegraphreported.

Building materials and plumbing supplier Wolseley PLCis in talks to raise between GBP200 million and GBP400 million to shore up its finances, theSunday Telegraphreported without citing sources.

The paper said Chief Executive Chip Hornsby has been in talks with investors and is also negotiating with private-equity groups about raising capital through a private placement, although it is not clear what proportion of cash would come from new shares or a private placement.

A decision is expected within the next three weeks, before the company's financial year-end, the Sunday Telegraph added.

Wolseley has been badly hit by thehousing market downturn, reporting profit down 77% in the full year to end-July, 2008, and a further 45% slump in first quarter profit reported November.

The company had GBP2.47 billion of debt at July 31.

Its shares Friday closed at 345 pence and have shed 48% of their value in the past 12 months.

Wolseley declined to comment.

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