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The UK’s largest integrated forestry and sawmilling business, BSW Group, has been acquired by private equity firm Endless LLP as part of a multi-level growth plan for the company.
The group is a big employer in Lochaber with a 67 hectare sawmill in Corpach producing 250,000 cubic metres of sawn timber every year.
As well as adding BSW to its portfolio, the Leeds-based private equity firm also own a number of large UK-based businesses including cake manufacturer Bright Blue Foods, golf retailer American Golf and national distribution firm Menzies Distribution.
Welcoming the takeover, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, Ian Blackford, said: ‘It is welcome news that that the management are staying in place.’
‘We look forward to BSW being a leading player in the industry as well as continuing as a key anchor to the local economy in Lochaber.’
BSW CEO, Tony Hackney, and CFO, Alan Milne, will remain at the helm of the business and will continue to assist in driving the group’s future growth.
Tony Hackney, CEO of BSW Group, said: ‘This is fantastic news for BSW. Whilst it is business as usual, we are excited by the opportunities new ownership will bring us and we look forward to entering a new era of rapid growth and development under Endless’ ownership.
‘We would also like to thank the Brownlie family for creating such a strong legacy and supporting the growth of the company and its employees.’
Aidan Robson, Partner at Endless, added: ‘We are delighted to have been selected to support the acquisition of BSW, a business with fantastic prospects and one that we believe has a very exciting future. As the country’s largest timber producer, BSW plays a critical role in supporting the UK’s commitment to using more local and sustainable raw materials and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
‘We look forward to working closely with Tony, Alan and the rest of the BSW team to deliver continued organic growth and further diversification through investment and acquisition.’
Founded in 1848 in Berwickshire, BSW is the largest sawmilling group in the UK and within the top twenty timber producers in Europe.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (‘RBoS’) Asset Based Lending team supported the transaction. Andrew Barraclough, Head of Regional Asset Based Lending at RBoS ABL, added: ‘We are delighted to be continuing to support such a fantastic Scottish business and long-standing client of the bank.’
BSW’s shareholders were advised throughout the process by MCF Corporate Finance led by Ian Henderson; and Burges Salmon led by Danny Lee. Management were advised by Liberty Corporate Finance. Endless was advised by Walker Morris (Legal), Deloitte (Pensions), Poyry (Commercial), KPMG (Tax), and EY (Financial).