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Family firm sold

BSW Timber acquired by private equity firm Endless

Martin Gale (chairman, BSW), Tom Callaghan (Investment Manager, Endless)

Private equity investor Endless has acquired Scotland-based BSW Timber and its associated subsidiaries.

BSW is the largest integrated forestry and saw-milling business in the UK with turnover in excess of £350m and 1,200 employees.

Headquartered in Earlston, Berwickshire, the business has been a family concern since it was founded in 1848.

It comprises five main operating divisions and has seven sawmills in the UK – Boat of Garten, Carlisle, Dalbeattie, Fort William, Newbridge, Petersmuir and Southampton – and one in Latvia. Over the last ten years BSW has invested more than £125m in its operations.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but the acquisition by Leeds-based Endless is set to drive BSW’s growth plans and support its commitment to sustainable forestry.

Endless owns a number of large UK-based businesses including golf retailer American Golf and Scottish distribution firm Menzies Distribution through a group of funds.

Tony Hackney, CEO of BSW, said: “This is fantastic news for BSW. Whilst it is business as usual, we are excited by the opportunities new ownership will bring us and we look forward to entering a new era of rapid growth and development with Endless’s support.

“We would also like to thank the Brownlie family for creating such a strong legacy and supporting the growth of the company and its employees.”

Aidan Robson, Partner at Endless, added: “We are delighted to have acquired BSW, a business with strong heritage, fantastic prospects and one that we believe has a very exciting future.

“As the UK’s largest timber producer, BSW plays a critical role in supporting the UK’s commitment to using more local and sustainable raw materials and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“We look forward to working closely with Tony Hackney, Alan Milne and the rest of the BSW team to deliver continued organic growth and further diversification through investment and acquisition.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland Asset Based Lending team supported the transaction.

Endless was advised by Walker Morris (Legal), Deloitte (Pensions), Poyry (Commercial), KPMG (Tax), and EY (Financial).

BSW was advised by MCF Corporate Finance (Corporate Finance); and Burges Salmon (Legal). Management were advised by Liberty Corporate Finance.

Burges Salmon partner Danny Lee, based in the firm’s Edinburgh office, led the multi-disciplinary team advising on the transaction, with support from director Joanna Monaghan and solicitor Niall Mackle.

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