Cairngorm Capital acquires Arnold Laver & Co. Limited, creating the largest independent timber distribution company in the UK

Edinburgh and London, 13 November 2018

Cairngorm Capital Partners is pleased to announce the acquisition of the leading timber merchant, Arnold Laver & Co Limited. It joins Cairngorm Capital’s other timber brands, Thornbridge, North Yorkshire Timber and Rembrand to create the largest independent timber business in the UK, with combined revenues approaching £250m, which will be known collectively as The National Timber Group.

Headquartered in Sheffield, Arnold Laver is a family run company established in 1920. It imports, distributes and manufactures a wide range of timber, panels, decorative surfaces and joinery products, serving public and private sector construction, house-building and commercial companies. Its customers include blue chip construction companies and it is a favoured timber supplier for major infrastructure projects that include the 2012 Olympics, Hinkley Point Power Station, HS2 and the Thames Tideway. With its annual turnover in excess of £130 million, it has 13 strategically located distribution and processing depots1 across the UK, providing national coverage; a national production centre at Mosborough near Sheffield and a highly skilled and experienced workforce of over 750 employees. Arnold Laver’s shareholders will retain ownership of their existing property and leisure interests.

This acquisition is Cairngorm Capital’s 16th proprietary acquisition since July 2016 and the next step in its buy and build strategy to create The National Timber Group. The Group was formed with the aim of consolidating the highly fragmented specialist UK timber merchant market. In less than 12 months Cairngorm Capital has established a market leading timber business, with a national presence extending from the north of Scotland to London and the South West. The new enlarged Group, which consists of 52 sites and over 1300 employees, is led by Rob Barclay, Group Chief Executive, who joined the Group in June.

The Group has three divisions: a Scottish division2 that is headquarted in Grangemouth and led by Alex McLeod3, who joined the Group as Managing Director, Scotland, in September; one comprising the Arnold Laver brand, headquarted in Sheffield and led by the Arnold Laver management team and a third4, comprising the North Yorkshire timber brand and headquartered in Northallerton, is led by Nick Kershaw, Managing Director. With strong, highly trusted regional brands, each of the underlying companies will retain their existing trading names.

Rob Barclay, Group Chief Executive of The National Timber Group said, “We are delighted to partner with Arnold Laver and welcome them to the Group. 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.”

This transaction was led by Neil McGill, Investment Director at Cairngorm Capital, who added, “The UK timber market is still highly fragmented and offers many opportunities for well organised, high quality businesses such as The National Timber Group. We have been working hard to find opportunities to scale our timber business rapidly so we are delighted to be able to support the National Timber Group with this proprietary acquisition. We believe we now have a great platform for further growth under the leadership of an exceptional management team”

Andrew Laver explained, “Once we had taken to decision to consolidate our interests, our priority was to find a partner with shared goals and values who would help our timber business to fulfil its potential. Both companies have much in common in terms of heritage, outstanding product quality and a commitment to the highest standards of customer service, which makes this merger a very good fit. I am confident that the business is in very capable hands and that it will continue to thrive and prosper.”

The National Timber Group and Cairngorm Capital were advised on this transaction by PwC (financial and tax), Addleshaw Goddard (legal), CIL (commercial) and JLT (insurance). Arnold Laver shareholders were advised by Rothschild & Co. (financial) and DLA Piper (legal). PNC Business Credit and HSBC provided bank facilities to support this transaction.

For further information, please contact Katherine Ritchie on 020 8347 6183 or 07941 040021

Notes to editors

  1. Arnold Laver’s depots are located in Birmingham, Borehamwood (Hertfordshire), Bradford, Bristol, Hull, Kidderminster, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Rainham (Essex), Reading and two in Sheffield.
  2. The Scottish division comprises the operations of regional brands, Thornbridge and Rembrand. It is the leading timber processing and merchanting business in Scotland and is headquartered in Grangemouth, with 28 branches, two processing sites and over 400 employees.
  3. Alex McLeod is Managing Director for Scotland directly responsible for managing the Group’s Scottish operations, consisting of Thornbridge and Rembrand, which is the biggest independent timber distribution group in Scotland. Alex is based at the Thornbridge office in Grangemouth, reporting to Rob Barclay.Alex joined from Miller Pattison, the UK’s largest insulation installer, where he was Chief Executive bringing significant and valuable experience in managing expansion and delivering successful growth. Prior to that, he was Managing Director of Crendon Timber Engineering, the largest manufacturer of roof trusses and timber flooring in England and Wales. Earlier in his career he was Chief Executive of Superglass Holdings and held senior roles in Saint Gobain.
  4. The division comprises the operations of regional brand, North Yorkshire Timber. It has seven branches across the North East and an additional processing site, offering engineered wood products including the industry-leading NYTROOF Rapid Fit System. It employs approximately 200 people.
  • Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP is a specialist private investment firm providing equity capital and management expertise to leading UK companies. It invests in well-performing, private mid-market growth companies in manufacturing, distribution and services industries. The firm’s goal is to build and realise value through growth and performance improvements. Cairngorm Capital’s unique mix of sectoral expertise and investment skill enables it to be actively involved in the strategy and operational focus of portfolio companies, partnering with management teams to grow revenue, enhance margins, improve cash flow or consolidate industry leadership positions.
  • The National Timber Group is a collective of market-leading timber processing and distribution companies, which include Thornbridge Sawmills, North Yorkshire Timber and Rembrand. Together they serve a diverse and varied customer base including joiners, regional housebuilders, commercial companies and infrastructure projects. As a specialist supplier of timber, sheet and joinery products, with substantial warehousing, processing and distribution capabilities, it is able to provide a broad range of high quality products on short lead times, supported by comprehensive timber knowledge and expertise. In 2018 the Group has a combined turnover approaching £250 million, 52 distribution and processing sites extending from the north of Scotland to London and the South West and over 1300 employees.
    www.nationaltimbergroup.com
  • Arnold Laver is a family run, Sheffield based company that was established in 1920. It imports, distributes and manufactures a wide range of timber, panels, decorative surfaces and joinery products, serving public and private sector construction, house-building and commercial companies. Its customers include blue chip construction companies and it is a favoured timber supplier for major infrastructure projects that include the 2012 Olympics, Hinkley Point Power Station, HS2 and the Thames Tideway. With its annual turnover in excess of £130 million, it has 13 strategically located distribution and processing depots across the UK, providing national coverage; a national production centre at Mosborough near Sheffield and a highly skilled and experienced workforce of over 750 employees.
    www.laver.co.uk

View the pdf version: Cairngorm Capital Press Release 13.11.18 pdf

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