The National Timber Group has been put together by private equity investor Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP, which began its consolidation of the UK timber industry earlier this year with the merger of Scotland’s Thornbridge and North Yorkshire Timber. It added Rembrand in July.
Cairngorm has now hauled in a big one: the addition of Arnold Laver & Co Ltd, with its £130m annual revenues, more than doubles the size of The National Timber Group. It gives the combined group total revenues of close to £250m as well as more than 1,300 employees and 52 distribution and processing sites across the UK.
Headquartered in Sheffield, Arnold Laver is the timber division of Arnold Laver Holdings, a family run company established in 1920. It imports, distributes and manufactures timber, panels, decorative surfaces and joinery products. It customers include the 2012 Olympics build, Hinkley Point power station, HS2 and the Thames Tideway.
The enlarged group will be led by Rob Barclay, group chief executive, who joined The National Timber Group from SIG in June.
The group will now have three divisions: a Scottish division with headquarters in Grangemouth and led by Alex McLeod; a Sheffield-based divison led by the Arnold Laver management team; and a third in Northallerton, led by managing director Nick Kershaw. Each of the original companies retains its trading name.
Arnold Laver’s owners said that the merger was prompted by the shareholders’ deciding to focus on their property and leisure interests. Owners Andrew Laver and Mark Bower will remain in the business to ensure a smooth handover.
Rob Barclay, group chief executive of The National Timber Group said: “The merger is highly complementary – together, we are able extend our presence nationwide, pursue further growth and are well positioned to capitalise on the market leading position we have established. Additionally, our values, vision and commitment to customers are completely aligned, which creates exciting opportunities for us both.”
Cairngorm Capital investment director Neil McGill, who led the transaction, added: “The UK timber market remains highly fragmented and offers many opportunities for well, organised, high quality businesses such as The National Timber Group and Arnold Laver. As investors, we have been working hard to find opportunities to scale our timber interests rapidly so we are delighted to be able to support this partnership. We believe we now have a great platform for further growth under the leadership of an exceptional management team.”