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Donaldson acquires Stewart Milne Timber Systems

Tie-up: Andrew Donaldson and Alex Goodfellow

Stewart Milne Timber Systems has been acquired by the Donaldson Group in a move that extends its interests in a growing segment of the market.

Donaldson says the acquisition “strategically and operationally” complements its portfolio, allowing it to offer a stronger timber package for residential and commercial applications.

The use of timber frame in housing construction is expected to double in the next five years from 14% to 25% as house builders turn to modern methods of construction and renewable sources to achieve net-zero carbon targets.

SMTS, established in 1975 as a division of Stewart Milne Group, is a UK pioneer in timber frame technology and manufacturing. It operates throughout the country from three manufacturing plants in Aberdeen, Witney and a new facility in Falkirk.

It has experienced 79% growth in the last six years, with a record order book of close to £300m and an annual turnover of £100m, giving it a 20% share of the market. The business is trading significantly ahead of its expectations at the start of the financial year.

The business, which was put up for sale in October, has strong customer relationships with blue chip builders such as Barratt, Cala and Taylor Wimpey.

The £400m-turnover Donaldson Group sees it adding significantly to its 11 specialist timber and building product businesses, operating throughout the UK from 45 locations with a headcount 1,500. 

The deal will see Alex Goodfellow, Stewart Milne Group managing director – strategic development, become CEO, Donaldson Off-site Manufacturing. The 411 employees at SMTS will transfer to Donaldson. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Donaldson has 160 years of expertise in timber importing and distribution, as well as decades of experience in timber engineering and merchanting.

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