BSW: Making the Most Out of Timber


BSW Timber is a familiar industry name and the largest integrated forestry business in the UK. We spoke to Group CEO, Tony Hackney, about an extremely busy 2020 and what the many new parts of the business are set to achieve.

2020 was a very busy business year with a number of changes at BSW, with the acquisition by private equity investor Endless LLP in February 2020, successfully underpinning the business for future growth. “2020 has indeed been a very special year for us,” says Tony. “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic could not have been foreseen but with the backing of Endless and through the extreme efforts of our staff we have succeeded in growing the business. It is reassuring having the experience and expertise that Endless provide and knowing that when opportunities for acquisition or investment arise, we are in a position to analyse and strike deals if and when appropriate.”

Two recent acquisitions by BSW include the Building and Supply Solutions division of SCA Wood UK and also bringing the ‘highly mechanised’ timber harvesting company Dick Brothers Forestry Ltd, into the Group. How will this add value to the manufacture and distribution of timber products to the merchant sector? “This is a very exciting development for us, working with one of the UK’s leading imported timber processors and manufacturers,” says Tony. “It opens up a number of market opportunities for us which we’ll be working on behind the scenes. The blend of talent in SCA Wood UK and BSW will be a strong combination in bringing a new vigour to timber marketing in the UK.

“Importantly, delivering the right logs to the right mill on-time to service our production planning and sales is vital to our business. A key element of that is how the trees are felled, prepared and despatched to our sawmills. Working with Dick Brothers Forestry allows us to get under the skin of the challenges and opportunities of how a highly-mechanised harvesting team operates. We believe that using innovative production planning we can bring synergies to our harvesting and sawmilling divisions. Above all, short and immediate lines of communication between mills, harvesting supervisors and machines will be hugely beneficial.”

As part of its wider environmental programme, BSW has developed CarbonStore to help ‘businesses, landowners and individuals to create a cleaner, greener low-carbon economy’. CarbonStore provides the vital link between companies who want to minimise their impact on the environment and landowners who can help them achieve that. “Farmers and landowners need encouragement to grow trees on their land which absorb CO2e emissions, enhance our ecology and wildlife and purify and stabilise our water systems,” finishes Tony. “By paying landowners to deliver these services, companies incentivise them to use their land in the most environmentally sensitive way. CarbonStore plays a central role in the process. It matches suitable companies with appropriate landowners. It creates healthy, vibrant woodlands within beautiful landscapes.”

For the complete feature read the Winter 20-21 Issue of Timber Trader UK

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