Industry consolidation set to continue

29 July 2019

A flurry of takeovers has happened in recent weeks.

In our news this month we report on Parker Building Supplies taking over Hastingsbased Stamco, while large Oregon Timber Frame has been snapped up by natinal housebuilder Barratt Developments.

In the case of Parker’s acquisition, it represents another addition to Parker’s owner private equity firm Cairngorm Capital’s timber and merchanting portfolio.

Cairngorm Capital has made a significant play on the UK timber sector in the past two years and its consolidation moves have changed the landscape of timber sector ownership, especially with the acquisition last year of one of the country’s largest timber company enterprises Arnold Laver.

I went to see Cairngorm Capital in London recently and spoke to two of its senior executives, as well as Rob Barclay, who heads up its National Timber Group (NTG).

The picture they painted was very interesting. Timber, they say, is a material they like because of its range of applications and due to it being a renewable material, while they enjoy investing in businesses serving the RMI and new build sectors.

With a £500m turnover target for the NTG it’s clear that further merger and acquisition activity is on its cards.

But they make clear they are not interested in “being the biggest” in the timber sector for the sake of being the biggest and it is busy investing in the businesses it has acquired to help them gain more market share.

Elswhere in this issue of TTJ, we have updates on modified wood both in the news and in our Sector Focus, with a look at Lignia Wood Company, which has established the first UK modified wood manufacturing plant. The company’s latest £5m funding boost now brings Lignia’s total fundraising to £17m over the past three years.

Accoya wood producer Accsys Technologies has also reported strong revenue growth and further investment in production capacity in its Arnhem production plant.

With fellow modified wood brand Kebony also seeing growing applications for its product, the future for modified wood looks set to be strong.

We also cover a visit to German wood-plastic composite decking manufactuerer NOVO-TECH, producer of the Megawood brand, to see how this material is made and how the product is being utilised.

And TTJ consultant editor Mike Jeffree provides his annual update on the French timber industry in our France Country Focus.

I’m delighted to announce comedian Zoe Lyons will be host at the TTJ Awards on September 13. Voting in the voted categories has closed with nearly 900 votes registered. There is still time though to enter our super judged categories, but you need to be quick!