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Cairngorm Capital’s Grant & Stone Group completes three acquisitions

Cairngorm Capital Partners’s (Cairngorm Capital) is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Grant & Stone Group (Grant & Stone), has completed the acquisitions of RGB Building Supplies, Buildit Gloster and Total Plumbing Supplies, to create one of the largest independent builders’ merchant groups in southern England. 

The new enlarged group will have 74 branches stretching from West London to Cornwall, over 1,000 employees and combined revenues approaching GBP250 million.

Grant & Stone’s stated objective has been to develop its builders’ merchant business through a combination of acquisitions, new site development and organic growth. With Cairngorm Capital’s support, it has undertaken a series of carefully chosen acquisitions with successful building supplies companies that share a common vision, independent ethos and commitment to providing the highest standards of customer service.

In September 2020, it bought Buckinghamshire-based 3Counties1 and in January 2021, it acquired CRS Building Supplies2, a 12 branch builders’ merchant in Somerset. Today, Grant & Stone announces three further acquisitions:

• Rawle Gammon & Baker Holdings Limited, trading as RGB Building Supplies3, the leading independent builders’ merchant in the South West, with 22 branches serving customers across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

• Buildit Gloster Limited4, a three branch builders’ merchant providing a broad range of building materials to trade and retail customers across Gloucestershire and Wiltshire

• Total Plumbing Supplies Limited5, a five branch plumbers’ merchant headquartered in Devon, supplying trade and retail customers across Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon.

This acquisition programme is consistent with Cairngorm Capital’s strategy, providing investment capital, strategic guidance and industry expertise to support ambitious management teams. Building on its strong relationships with founders, families, and long-term private owners, Cairngorm Capital often nurtures relationships with sellers over a period of months or years before investing and then driving transformational growth. The result at Grant & Stone is a business that during the past 15 months has grown from 29 branches in the Thames Valley to 74 branches across the breadth of the south of England, establishing a strong platform for continued expansion.

These three acquisitions were led by Alex Bayliss, Managing Director at Cairngorm Capital, who says: “As investors, we are actively engaged in the strategy and operational development of our portfolio companies. Recognising the great skills and capability of Grant & Stone’s management team, we have been working together to identify suitable partners with strong reputations and performance that pair well with Grant & Stone. We are delighted with the acquisition of these three excellent merchant businesses.”

Nick House, Grant & Stone’s Group Chief Executive, says: “It has been a tremendous experience to work with Cairngorm Capital over the last 15 months and to implement our growth strategy. Grant & Stone is at a really exciting point in its development and we are fortunate to benefit from strong investor support, exceptional products, first-rate employees and a well-deserved reputation for superior service. We welcome RGB’s CEO Kevin Fenlon to our Group Board and are excited about the opportunities that these acquisitions bring.”

All of Cairngorm Capital’s portfolio companies have performed well throughout the pandemic, having experienced strong growth since last summer. The firm continues to seek further bolt-ons and new platforms across a range of sectors, including building materials, fire protection, healthcare and business services.

Cairngorm Capital and Grant & Stone were advised on today’s transactions by Grant Thornton (financial and tax), Gowling (legal), MDW Capital (financing advice). Funding was provided by Ares and Santander.

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