Gambit advises on Premier Forest Products’ hat-trick of deals in 2023

Gambit Corporate Finance (Gambit) has advised on Premier Forest Products’ (“PFP”) latest acquisition of North-East Sheets & Panels (“NESP”), its second deal in November and its third of 2023.

The acquisition quickly follows its purchase of PWIDF and is its second in County Durham, following its acquisition of Decorpanel in February 2023.

Established in 1997, North-East Sheets & Panels is a specialist manufacturer and supplier of made-to-measure doors, panels, cabinets and worktops to trade customers and retailers in the fitted kitchen, bathroom and bedroom sector. It is a short distance away from Decorpanel, a highly successful, specialised panel processing business.

Terry Edgell, Co-founder and CEO of Premier Forest Products said:

“This acquisition is the perfect fit for Premier Forest Products, as the synergies between the business and Decorpanel provide exciting opportunities for growth in the north-east and nationwide. North-East Sheets & Panels’ skills and expertise fit perfectly with our strategic goal of expanding value-add product categories, whilst the business will thrive by expanding its manufacturing capacity via Decorpanel and continuing to produce quality, made-to-measure doors, panels, cabinets and worktops.”

The acquisition of specialist door manufacturer, PWIDF earlier in November expands PFP’s presence in the contract joinery sector, with PWIDF’s bespoke fire door offering fitting seamlessly alongside its existing timber-based fire protection products.

Gambit has advised PFP on its acquisitions for a number of years and it highlights the importance of M&A as a key part of Premier Forest Products’ strategic growth plan.

It is the fifth transaction Gambit has advised PFP on in the past 2 years, having also advised on the sale of its Irish business (Brooks Timber & Building Supplies and Dublin Plywood & Veneer) to Murdock and its acquisition of Mon Timber in 2022.

Gambit’s team was led by Geraint Rowe (Partner, Sam Forman (Director) and Harrie Thorrington (Executive). Leading on deal structuring, negotiations and general project management, the Gambit team have a close working relationship with the PFP shareholders, board and management team.

Sam Forman, Director at Gambit commented:

“The recent acquisitions by Premier Forest Products are a culmination of a focussed M&A strategy, efficient execution and refined integration process. PFP’s approach in bringing together likeminded businesses that are able to enhance the value-add and offering across the group to benefit its customers and stakeholders is testament to the quality of its team and people. M&A will continue to factor in its future growth and augment its organic strategic initiatives as one of the UK’s leading timber companies.”

“M&A activity in the building products sector remains buoyant, despite some macro-economic challenges in certain pockets of the market. Sectors such as timber, landscaping and commodity driven end markets benefitted in the wake of lockdown with increased demand and supply chain constraints with record margins and cash generation which has now subsided. With competition tightening, margins being squeezed in a market which is still largely fragmented, M&A is being utilised to adapt and improve product/service offerings, maintain market share and drive shareholder value. We expect this trend to continue in 2024 with well-funded and invested businesses, such as Premier Forest Products, with a clear M&A strategy and experience in successfully integrating acquisitions to benefit.”

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