Acquisition continues timber firm’s solid growth
Premier Forest Group, one of the UK’s fastest-growing timber groups, has acquired Haverfordwest-based timber importer Merlwood Timber.
Established in Newport in 1993 by founding directors Dilwyn Howells, Nigel Williams and Terry Edgell, Premier Forest Group imports, manufactures and distributs timber and panel products.
The firm was set up as Premier Forest Products when the founders recognised there was a gap in the market and has recorded phenomenal growth, with this latest acquisition being the group’s eighth in the past seven years. Since 2011, the group’s turnover has grown from £53m to a projected £136m in the current financial year.
Merlwood Timber Ltd, formed in 1997, operates from a three-acre site in Haverfordwest with other strategic dockside locations in the UK. All staff will be joining Premier.
It is a leading supplier of imported and domestically produced solid timber. Its key clients include timber and builders’ merchants.
Terry Edgell, chief executive and co-founder of Premier Forest Group, said: “The acquisition of Merlwood Timber gives Premier the opportunity to strengthen its distribution capacity in Wales and to expand its group sales revenue and geographic reach.
“The Merlwood team bring with them additional customer and supplier relationships and their capacity to machine timber in-house, which adds to the value and service we can now offer to our own group’s customer base.
“Particularly exciting is the fact that the full management team and staff are firmly committed to joining the Premier Forest Group. They are embracing the opportunities the acquisition brings with it and we hope to see a period of job creation, capital investment and sales expansion within Wales for both Merlwood and our other three Welsh sites as a result of this acquisition.”
The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
Merlwood Timber’s co-founder and managing director Mike James said: “We are extremely excited about joining the Premier Forest team. Merlwood Timber will now have the considerable resources of the Premier Group behind it to enable us to not only fulfil our growth ambitions regionally, but also further enhance Premier’s business across the UK too. We are an extremely good fit for one another and it’s going to be an exciting period ahead.”
Premier Forest Group currently operates across 15 sites in the UK and Ireland and comprises sawmilling, processing, importation and timber distribution businesses.
Other Wales-based brands within the Premier Forest Group include timber importer Premier Forest Products in Newport Docks, which also became the home to Premier Processing & Fabrication, and hardwood and softwood specialist Clarks Wood. The group’s Welsh sawmill operation Premier Sawmilling and its outlet store Mill Timber Direct are based In Croespenmaen, south Wales.
Outside Wales, the group’s other brands include Duchy Timber in Cornwall, Premier Forest Doncaster, Premier Goldberg near Heathrow and the Irish brands of the multi-site Brooks Timber and Builders Supplies and Dublin Plywood and Veneers.
> Terry Edgell of Premier Forest Group