Cairngorm buys Arnold Laver

Arnold Laver 1Arnold Laver & Co. Limited and The National Timber Group are pleased to announce that they have merged, to create the largest independent timber distribution business in the UK. With combined revenue approaching £250 million, the new enlarged Group has 52 distribution and processing sites extending from the north of Scotland to London and the South West and over 1300 employees. The transaction is being supported by further investment from Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP.

The National Timber Group is a collective of market-leading added-value timber 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.

Headquartered in Sheffield, Arnold Laver is the timber division of Arnold Laver Holdings Limited, a family run company first established in 1920. It imports, distributes and manufactures a wide range of timber, panels, decorative surfaces and joinery products. 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.

The enlarged Group will be led by Rob Barclay, Group Chief Executive, who joined The National Timber Group in June.

The Group will have three divisions: a Scottish division that is headquarted in Grangemouth and led by Alex McLeod, who joined the Group as Managing Director, Scotland, in September; one headquartered in Sheffield led by the Arnold Laver management team and a third headquartered in Northallerton and led by Nick Kershaw, Managing Director. With strong, highly trusted regional brands, each of the underlying companies will retain their trading names.

This transaction was led by Neil McGill, Investment Director at Cairngorm Capital, who 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”

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.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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