Arnold Laver employs 750 people across 13 distribution and processing depots
Arnold Laver employs 750 people across 13 distribution and processing depots
Richard Bell

Cairngorm Capital acquires Sheffield firm to create UK’s biggest timber business

Investment firm Cairngorm Capital Partners has acquired timber merchant Arnold Laver & Co Limited to create the UK’s largest independent timber business.

Sheffield-headquartered Arnold Laver will combine with Cairngorm’s other timber companies, Thornbridge, North Yorkshire Timber and Rembrand, to form The National Timber Group.

The newly formed brand will have combined revenues approaching £250m.

Arnold Laver, a family run company established in 1920, imports, distributes and manufactures a range of timber and joinery products for construction, house-building and commercial companies.

It generates revenues of £130m and employs 750 people across 13 distribution and processing depots. The company is a favoured timber supplier for a number of large infrastructure projects, including the 2012 Olympics, Thames Tideway, Hinkley Point Power Station and HS2.

The deal is Cairngorm’s 16th proprietary acquisition since July 2016

The newly enlarged timber group will operate from 52 sites and employ more than 1,300 people over three divisions – a Scottish division, headquartered in Grangemouth and led by Scotland MD Alex McLeod; another comprising the Arnold Laver brand, headquartered in Sheffield and led by the existing management team; and a third, comprising the North Yorkshire Timber brand, headquartered in Northallerton and led by MD Nick Kershaw.

Rob Barclay, who joined in June, will lead the business as group CEO.

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.”

Cairngorm Capital investment director Neil McGill, who led the transaction, commented: “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.”

PwC provided The National Timber Group and Cairngorm Capital with financial and tax advice on the transaction, alongside Addleshaw Goddard (legal), JLT (insurance) and CIL (commercial).

Rothschild & Co. (financial) and DLA Piper (legal) advised the Arnold Laver shareholders. Bank facilities supporting the deal were provided by PNC Business Credit and HSBC.

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