Grant & Stone Group and Independent Builders Merchant Group (IBMG) have announced their merger, creating what is said to be the largest builders’ merchant group in the South of England.
The merger between Grant & Stone and IBMG creates a builders’ merchant group with 123 branches, revenues in excess of £500 million and over 1,700 employees. The new Group extends from Cornwall to Kent and comprises builders’ merchants, electrical wholesalers, plumbers’ merchants, kitchen & bathroom showrooms, roofing merchants, a timber processing site, and a dedicated ecommerce business.
With the support and investment from their strategic partner, Cairngorm Capital, both companies have undergone transformational growth. Via a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, IBMG has grown from 15 branches and revenues of £67m in March 2018, to 39 branches and revenues of over £200m.
In parallel, Grant & Stone has scaled its business from 29 branches in the Thames Valley and revenues of £100m in November 2019, to 84 branches between London and Cornwall, and revenues in excess of £300m.
Strategically, the merger is described as being “the natural evolution for both companies, consolidating their position as the largest independent builders’ merchant group in southern England and creating a solid platform for continued growth, new market entry and further M&A activity to ensure that the company fulfils its potential”.
At a group level, the new combined company will be known as Independent Builders Merchant Group. However, given the strength and trust invested in the group’s 12 market-leading brands (see footnote), the existing trading names and brands will continue to be used for all customer-facing activity.
Nick House, Group Chief Executive of Grant & Stone, will lead the new combined IBMG business, with Peter Cudd (Group Managing Director). They will be supported by a new Group Board, led by David Moore as non-executive Chairman and executive directors – Allun Pittingale (Group Managing Director for IBMG South East), Kevin Fenlon (Group Projects Director and Chief Executive of RGB) and Richard Robinson (Group Chief Financial Officer).
Nick House, Group Chief Executive of IBMG, said: “This merger is the natural progression for both companies. Our branch networks and product ranges are highly complementary and our values, vision and commitment to customers are completely aligned, which creates exciting opportunities for us all. We have ambitious goals to fulfil but IBMG is well structured, with strong investor support, exceptional products, first-rate employees and a well-deserved reputation for superior service. I look forward to leading the next phase of development.”
Allun Pittingale, Group Managing Director of IBMG South East, added: “This merger is exciting and as both companies can learn much from each other, it will deliver great things. I am looking forward to working together with Nick, David and my fellow directors to develop the long-term strategy and future direction of the new group.”
IBMG’s 12 brands are: Buildit, Chandlers Building Supplies, Chandlers Roofing, CRS Building Supplies, Devondale Electrical, Fairalls Builders Merchants, Grant & Stone, Parkers Building Supplies, RGB Building Supplies, Stamco Timber, Total Plumbing Supplies and Trading Depot.
Within the merchant and related sector, Cairngorm Capital’s current portfolio includes majority owned stakes in Bromborough Paints, Building Supplies Online and National Timber Group.