PaintWell acquires Kent Blaxill

PaintWell acquires Kent Blaxill

Reputedly the North West’s largest independent paint distributor and decorators’ merchant, PaintWell is extending its branch network across the East and South East of England following the acquisition of Kent Blaxill. The new enlarged group will have 46 branches stretching from Cumbria to Kent, with 250 employees and combined revenues of £55m.

Established in 1838 and headquartered in the Essex town of Colchester, Kent Blaxill has 23 decorating and builders’ merchant branches, serving a diverse range of trade and retail customers. The acquisition enables the shareholders from the Kent and Blaxill families to exit the business, however some family members are re-investing in the enlarged PaintWell business, remaining important and supportive shareholders, as it continues to build on their legacy.

Kent Blaxill’s management team, led by managing director, James Park, will remain with the business, working with Stuart Slocombe and the PaintWell executive team to integrate the two businesses and “realise the potential that this partnership brings”. In addition, Andrew Cope — the founder of Chandlers Building Supplies and subsequently CEO of Independent Builders Merchants Group (SE) until he stepped down in 2021— joins PaintWell’s board as a Non-Executive Director, bringing considerable experience of the building supplies sector.

For PaintWell, this move extends its branch network beyond its traditional markets, building its national presence and creating opportunities for its e-commerce business and industrial paints offering.

The Kent Blaxill acquisition is the latest development following Cairngorm Capital Partners’ investment in PaintWell (then named Bromborough Paints) in March 2021. Among a number of additions to its branch network, the business recently acquired specialist paints and surface coatings distributor Promain to establish a new industrial paints division. Investment has also been put into its growing e-commerce platform.

MD Stuart Slocombe said: ““I am delighted to welcome James and everybody at Kent Blaxill to PaintWell. Our shared values, vision and commitment to customers make this an obvious partnership and Kent Blaxill, a welcome addition to our company.

“PaintWell is at a really interesting point in its development. We have ambitious plans to fulfil but we are fortunate to be able to benefit from strong investor support, exceptional products, first-rate employees and a well-deserved reputation for superior service. We are excited about the next phase of growth.”

James Park, Managing Director of Kent Blaxill, added: “This partnership is exciting and I am confident will deliver great things. I am looking forward to working with Stuart and his team to advance the 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.”

Other investments into the sector by Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP’s include Independent Builders Merchants Group and National Timber Group.

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