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Arnold Laver & Co. Limited joins The National Timber Group, creating the largest independent timber distribution company in the UK

Arnold 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 knowledgeand 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, serving public and private sector construction, house-building and commercial companies. Its customers include blue chip construction companies and it is a favoured timber supplier for major infrastructure projects that include the 2012 Olympics, Hinkley Point Power Station, HS2 and the Thames Tideway.  With its annual turnover in excess of £130 million, it has 13 strategically located distribution and processing depots1across the UK, providing national coverage; a national production centre at Mosborough near Sheffield and a highly skilled and experienced workforce of over 750 employees.

With minimal overlap of the branch networks, this partnership is highly complementaryand marks a key milestone in the growth strategy for both businesses, advancing their collective objective to consolidate the UK value added timber distribution sector, expand geographicallyand provides the platform for further growth. 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 division2that is headquarted in Grangemouth and led by Alex McLeod3,who joined the Group as Managing Director, Scotland, in September; one headquartered in Sheffield led by the Arnold Laver management team and a third4headquartered 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.

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.

Rob Barclay, Group Chief Executive of The National Timber Group 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.”

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.

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National Timber Group.
Registered Office: 22 Cross Keys,
Company Registration Number: 10887298
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