Parker Building Supplies (Parkers) has announced that it has been acquired by Cairngorm Capital Partners, a specialist private investment firm with a focus on UK building products distribution, manufacturing, and services. The business states that it “partners with strong, ambitious management teams to provide capital, strategic advice and operational best practice to help them transform the growth potential of their companies”.
Founded in 1984, Parkers is a leading independent and multi-award winning builders’ merchant based in the South East of England, supplying trade and retail customers. In addition to its heavyside depots, Parkers has a number of ancillary offerings including paving, plumbing, joinery and architectural ironmongery. Headquartered in Polegate, East Sussex, in 2017 the company generated revenues of £67m (taking 18th place in PBM’s annual listing of the UK’s largest merchant firms) and employs just under 300 staff at 15 locations across Sussex and Kent.
This transaction was prompted by the retirement of founder and Managing Director, Tom Parker. Cairngorm Capital is introducing a number of new senior managers to the group, led by Cairngorm’s Operating Partner John Declerck, who will join as Executive Chairman. John will support the existing management team, including Stewart Pierce who will remain Commercial Director, and share his considerable operational expertise in the buildings materials sector. John has over 20 years’ global executive experience at leading building products distribution companies, including Kingfisher and Home Depot.
The incumbent team will be further supported by Chris Maityard and Iain Bell, joining as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer respectively. Chris and Iain bring extensive building product experience from companies such as Plumbase, Ridgeons and Wolseley. Stewart Harries joins as Finance Director.
Tom Parker, outgoing MD of Parkers, said: “For 34 years our priority has been to provide our customers with the best building products and outstanding customer service. Parkers has grown substantially and has the potential to achieve much more, so this is the natural point for me to pass the company to new, trusted custodians who can deliver on its future potential. The team at Cairngorm Capital has demonstrated considerable flexibility and integrity in completing this investment. Having a detailed understanding of their plans and knowing the team as I do, I am confident that Parkers is in good hands and will go from strength to strength.”
He added: “Finally, I would like to thank Stewart Pierce for his support and stewardship of Parkers’ in recent years – that Parkers is in a position to complete this transaction and pursue its strategy for growth, is testament to the great company and great team that he has helped me to develop.”
Cairngorm Capital’s investment was led by Alex Bayliss and Andrew Steel. Alex commented: “Parkers is an excellent example of the sort of business in which we like to invest. It has a compelling product-offering, delivered by a skilled and committed workforce providing outstanding customer service. We are delighted to contribute the investment funding and industry expertise to support Parkers in its next stage of growth.”
John Declerck, Executive Chairman of Parkers added: “Parkers’ partnership with Cairngorm Capital is the start of a new phase in the group’s development. Our goal is to increase our network of builders’ merchants over the next five years, to become a leading distributor of building products in the UK. We aim to achieve this through a mix of acquisitions, new site development and organic growth. We are interested in further opportunities that allow us to fulfil our plans for innovation and growth, to the benefit of our customers, employees and suppliers.”
Cairngorm Capital was advised on this transaction by PwC (financial and tax), Gowling WLG (legal) and JLT (Insurance). Tom Parker was advised by Rix & Kay (legal) and Haines Watts (financial). Management were advised by Capital Law (legal). Lloyds Banking Group provided continued bank facilities to support this transaction.