Fairalls Builders’ Merchants has entered into a partnership with Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP to support its continued growth and development. It joins Cairngorm Capital’s other builders’ merchant brands, Parkers Building Supplies and Stamco, to create what is now reported to be the largest independent builders’ merchant group in the South East.
Cairngorm Capital is a specialist private investment firm that provides equity capital and management expertise to ambitious UK companies. With the acquisition of Fairalls, the newly enlarged SE merchant portfolio has 24 branches serving Surrey, Sussex and Kent, over 500 employees and combined revenues of £120 million.
A family firm dating its origins back to 1900, Fairalls offers a mix of heavy and lightside building materials, from its four locations in Surrey and Kent – Gatwick, Sevenoaks and two branches in Godstone – and its Taylors Hill Branch in Godstone is believed to be one of the largest heavyside yards in the South East.
In 2018 the business, currently managed by Bob Fairall and his son Richard, achieved revenues of approximately £15m with 85 employees. Bob will remain with the firm on an interim basis before entering retirement. Richard will also remain with the company, which will continue to trade under the Fairalls brand.
This is Cairngorm Capital’s third acquisition in the building merchants sector, following its purchase of Stamco last month and Parker Building Supplies in March 2018. With minimal branch overlap and a highly complementary product range, this partnership offers the strategic opportunity for geographic expansion and advances Cairngorm Capital’s strategy to expand its business through a combination of acquisitions, new site development and organic growth.
Robert Fairall, Managing Director of Fairalls, said: “Having made the decision to retire, it seemed natural timing to find a partner who would ensure Fairalls fulfils its potential and I believe our partnership with Cairngorm Capital and the other group companies will achieve this. We have much in common with Parkers and Stamco in terms of heritage, outstanding product quality and a commitment to the highest standards of customer service, which makes this a very good fit.
“I am looking forward to facilitating a successful handover of the business to our new partners, who will be working closely with my son, Richard, to pursue new opportunities for innovation and growth, which will benefit our customers and employees, while retaining the company’s core values.”
Alex Bayliss, Managing Director at Cairngorm Capital, added: “We have been working to build a customer-focused business, with great products, outstanding customer service and a strong, expanding branch network. Like Parkers and Stamco, Fairalls is an excellent company with a strong brand in the independent builders’ merchants market and an outstanding reputation with its customers. Geographically this partnership is highly complementary, extending our presence across the South East of England to make our group, the largest independent builders’ merchant in the region. We are delighted to welcome Fairalls to the group.”
Cairngorm Capital was advised on this transaction by PwC (financial and tax), Gowling WLG (legal), CIL (commercial), JLT (insurance) and Vail Williams (property). MDW Capital provided financing advice. Fairalls were advised by Rix & Kay (legal), Plummer Parsons (financial and tax) and EMC (corporate finance).
Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP is a specialist private investment firm providing equity capital and management expertise to leading UK companies. It invests in well-performing, private mid-market growth companies in manufacturing, distribution and services industries, and has made a number of investments into the broader merchant sector in recent years.
Cairngorm Capital’s current portfolio now includes majority owned stakes in:
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