H&B’s acquisition of TBG sees the dawn of a new strategy for merchant buying groups

One of the leading buying groups in the builders’ and timber merchants’ sector, H&B Group, is acquiring one of the newest in the sector, the Timber Buying Group (TBG), to bring unprecedented support to the industry’s small to medium-sized players.

Nick Lander and Alan Durning.
Nick Lander and Alan Durning.

The H&B Group consisting of 70 members has acquired TBG consisting of 55 members in a move which will bring H&B’s vision, leadership, strong supplier relationships, buying power and non-profit making status to the new 125-member-based organisation.

H&B Group intends to keep the positive collective member spirit and non-political feel that the original H&B was founded on 20 years ago. But it will combine this with additional dynamic buying power for the 125 members, offering them security, performance and consistency.

Initially, the strategy will be specifically orientated between the two tiers of members – those with turnovers up to £4 million who are members of TBG (whose total member turnover had grown to sub £100 million since its formation in 2013) and those with turnovers over £4 million who are members of H&B (whose collective turnover stands at £480 million).

The new organisation will put in place growth strategies for the TBG members to help them achieve the turnover required to take them to the next level. TBG has set itself a target of 25 graduations of existing members to Tier 2 and recruitment of brand-new members in the first trading year. Applications from suitably qualified independent merchants are welcomed immediately.

Between them, the two groups have a supplier base of almost 400 manufacturers who have supported both groups over the previous years with competitive deals and strong trading relationships and this will be built upon as they move forward under the same umbrella.

H&B Group managing director Nick Lander said: “Our new members would have to negotiate a minimum of 170 plus deals a year to stay competitive. H&B currently offers 289 deals to its members to expand their competitiveness locally, enabling them to challenge both nationals and other competitors for business. That’s very time-consuming. We aim to buy better for them and the logical acquisition of TBG enhances the strategy to deliver our growth ambitions in order to become the market leading independent buying group”.

TBG director Allan Durning said: “This exciting development offers real opportunity for small to medium-sized independents to take advantage of the considerable buying power, deal transparency and potential bottom-line growth from H&B Group and join what is regarded by many commentators in the industry as certainly one of the visionary industry leaders in buying group terms. So the door is open and we welcome applications from suitably qualified independents.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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