Newport timber group sells Irish subsidiary

Newport-based Premier Forest Group has sold its Irish subsidiary, Premier Forest ROI Ltd.

The sale, for a significant but undisclosed sum, to Northern Ireland-headquartered Murdock Builders Merchants, is subject to the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and covers the trading assets, goodwill and freehold properties.

The referral process is anticipated to take up to 30 working days and, subject to final approval from the CCPC, completion of the deal is likely to occur at the end of July 2021.

The sale is of an eight-site subsidiary comprising Brooks Timber and Building Supplies and Dublin Plywood and Veneer (DPV).

Premier Forest Group acquired Brooks in 2012 and DPV in 2013, helping to rebuild both iconic Irish timber companies following the difficult post-credit crunch period in Ireland, leading to nine years of back-to-back growth in profit and turnover.

Terry Edgell, CEO and co-founder of Premier Forest Group said: “Over the past 12 months we have had various approaches about the possibility of selling our Irish subsidiaries and after careful consideration we felt that the time was right to hand the reins to an Irish company to steer them through their next phase of growth.

“This is a positive step for the Premier Forest Group, one which allows us to consolidate our position by giving us significant resource to reinvest in our staff and our business and drive growth in the UK through investment and further acquisitions.

“After excellent results for our 2020/21 financial year, we believe that there is a real opportunity here to push on and we are looking forward to putting a renewed focus into our UK business. Our forecasts are strong and we believe that we are looking at another positive increase in turnover for 2021/22.

“We would like to thank our Irish management team and every member of staff in Ireland for all their hard work over the past nine years and wish them success for the future.”

Gambit Corporate Finance LLP acted as lead advisor to the shareholders and were responsible for initiating, negotiating and structuring the transaction, which involved a strategic capital demerger to clearly separate its Irish and UK operations. The Gambit team was led by Geraint Rowe (partner), Simon Marsden (director), Sam Forman (associate director) and Michael Dunn (executive).

Acuity Law were lead lawyers for the sellers on the transaction.

Established in 1993, Premier Forest Group has increased turnover by £31m to £170m over the past 12 months, in spite of constraints imposed by nationwide lockdowns, operating restrictions at their sites in UK and Ireland and significant supply chain disruption.

Premier Forest Group continues to trade from its eight strategic sites in England and Wales.

South Wales Argus | Business