Merchant Focus: Way out west

Merchant Focus: Way out west

Grant & Stone has further expanded its Group with the acquisitions of RGB Building Supplies, Total Plumbing Supplies and Buildit to create what is reportedly now the largest independent builders’ merchant group in southern England. PBM reports.

The enlarged Grant & Stone business will have 74 branches stretching from West London to Cornwall, with over 1,000 employees and combined revenues approaching £250m. These latest acquisitions follow on from other recent deals, including CRS Building Supplies in January and 3Counties Timber & Building Supplies last autumn.

Of the latest acquisitions, RGB has a long and prestigious history from its founding in 1850 to become one of the leading independent builders’ merchants in the South West. Headquartered in Barnstaple and serving customers across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, RGB employs over 300 people and achieved revenues of £70 million in 2020.

The business trades from 22 branches, with dedicated kitchen, bathroom and bedroom showrooms in many locations, and also operates a timber sawmill and engineered wood product business under the RTD brand.

Kevin Fenlon, RGB’s Chief Executive, will continue to run the business, reporting to Nick House, Grant & Stone’s Group CEO, and will join the Grant & Stone Group board. Kevin said: “I am looking forward to joining the Board and working together with the Grant & Stone Directors to advance the long-term strategy and future direction of the Group. We are completely aligned in our ambitions for the company and how we achieve them, as well as having a shared approach to product excellence and outstanding customer service.”

Established in 2009, Buildit operates from three branches across Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The acquisition was initiated by Buildit’s owners’ succession planning and strengthens Grant & Stone’s geographic expansion by complementing the Group’s recent acquisition of the Somerset-based CRS.

Buildit’s management team — Managing Director Derek Meecham, Finance Director Brenda Meechan and Operations Director James Keyse — will work with Mat Miller, MD of Grant & Stone’s Builders & Timber Merchants division, to support the successful integration into the Grant & Stone Group.

Derek Meecham said: “The Directors are proud of all that we have achieved to date but we recognise that this is the natural point for us to pass the company to new, trusted custodians who can deliver on its future potential. We are looking forward to facilitating a successful handover of the business to Grant & Stone and are confident that under its stewardship, Buildit will go from strength to strength.”

Lastly, Total Plumbing Supplies (TPS) has five branches and serves trade and retail customers across Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon from its trade counters and through its Escape Bathrooms & Kitchens showrooms. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Honiton, Devon, the acquisition was also initiated by TPS’ owners’ succession planning and further consolidates Grant & Stone’s presence in the South West and extends the Group’s plumbing and heating offering in the region.

Founders, Clive Handford and Ian Moses will continue to lead the TPS business, working with Matt Bland, MD of Grant & Stone’s Plumbing and Heating division.

Matt commented: “We are delighted to welcome TPS to the Grant & Stone Group. We have much in common, making this a compelling partnership. Our company is at a really exciting point in its development and this partnership ensures that we are well positioned to progress the numerous growth opportunities available to us.”

Despite the challenges instigated by Covid-19, Grant & Stone states that the business has remained resilient with a “clear focus of what it wants to achieve for the future”. With the support of its strategic investment partner, Cairngorm Capital Partners, the acquisitions are said to “advance the Group’s ambition for further growth and future partnerships, developing its operations through a combination of acquisitions, new site development and organic growth”.

MKM Building Supplies has opened a new depot in Wallingford, Oxfordshire creating 17 new jobs in the area and bringing the total number of MKM branches nationwide to 80. The 1.2 acre site is headed-up by two branch directors, Stephen Busby and Liam Baldwin, and will offer a ‘one-stop shop’ service for both local building trade and retail customers.

In addition to a wide range of building essentials, the branch also offers a building takeoff service, brick matching and free local delivery along with a kitchen & bathroom showroom and a landscaping display area.


Continuing with its strategic expansion plans through acquisitions and the redevelopment of brownfield sites, Huws Gray has opened its latest branch at Eastham Place, Burnley. The depot is said to significantly strengthen the firm’s presence in Lancashire whilst Liam Parsisson has been promoted to the role of Branch Manager, having previously worked at Huws Gray’s Bolton branch.

Robert Price has acquired Builders’ Bitz with the Aberdare-based building and roofing merchant becoming the twenty-third branch in the enlarged group, which is said to be the largest independent builders’ merchant in South East Wales.

Molly Pike, Marketing Director at Robert Price, said: “This is an exciting time of growth for both businesses. Builders’ Bitz (which will continue to trade under its own banner) has an excellent reputation for service in the local community, and Robert Price is delighted to welcome the branch and its team into the group. Not only will it further expand our existing Robert Price branch reach and lorry fleet, but it will also provide Builders’ Bitz with the opportunity for further growth and development.”

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