Kent-based Continental Wood Products (CWP) has been bought by the family-owned Icelandic company Norvik for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition follows Norvik’s purchase of fencing and garden products manufacturer Wayland Timber Products Ltd in December last year.

CWP managing director John Phillips said the move would considerably strengthen CWP and Norvik’s position in the UK. Both companies have sawmilling and forestry operations in Latvia, Estonia and Russia and Mr Phillips said: “With the combined supply we have now got we are looking at being quite a substantial player in the UK softwood market. I am very optimistic about the future.”

Mr Phillips will remain with the company as managing director and Nigel Paines as softwood director. Directors Brian Martin and Simon Butler have both resigned to concentrate on their other business, the Latvian Plywood Company.

Jon Helgi Gudmundsson, chief executive officer and principal owner of Norvik, said: “There are a lot of synergies between the two companies.

“CWP has very good suppliers and we will continue to do business with them. Of course we are interested in the UK market because it is the biggest in Europe. We have not been that big in the UK so this will increase our share.”

CWP was established in 1990 and is one of the largest importers and distributors of Baltic timber and associated products in the UK.

The product range includes dry graded carcassing, fresh sawn specifications, fencing products, pallet wood, birch lumber and furniture components.