Arnold Laver & Co Limited has merged with The National Timber Group, creating the largest independent timber distribution company in the UK.
The new, enlarged group, has a combined revenue of almost £250 million, 52 distribution and processing sites extending from the north of Scotland to London and the South West and over 1,300 employees.
The National Timber Group is a collective of market-leading added-value timber distribution companies, including Thornbridge Sawmills, North Yorkshire Timber and Rembrand, which serve a diverse and varied customer base including joiners, regional housebuilders, commercial companies and infrastructure projects.
Arnold Laver is the timber division of Arnold Laver Holdings Limited, 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.
With its annual turnover in excess of £130 million, it has 13 distribution and processing depots across the UK, a national production centre at Mosborough near Sheffield and a 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.
He 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.”
The group will have three divisions: a Scottish division, headquarted in Grangemouth and led by Alex McLeod who joined 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.
The merger was prompted by shareholders’ decision to focus on their existing property and leisure interests. Owners Andrew Laver and Mark Bower will remain in the business to ensure an effective handover and a smooth transition.
“Once we had taken the 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,” said Laver. “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 transaction is being supported by further investment from Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP. It 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”
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.