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December 2014

Expansion for Wales-based timber group as it acquires sawmill

TIMBER and panel importer Premier Forest Products has purchased the sawmilling division of Welsh-based Border Group.

The sawmilling division is made up of two trading companies: GTP Border Forest which sells solid wood products and Border Forest Products which sells the co-product of production to the biomass industry. Both operate from a single nine-acre site in Croespenmaen, South Wales.

The two organisations will come under the ownership of Premier Forest products Ltd and will operate as Premier Forest Sawmilling.

This is the latest in a series of acquisitions for Premier, who have recently purchased Uxbridge-based Ron Lewis Holdings and Dublin Plywood and Veneers.

Terry Edgell, Director and co-founder of Premier – one of the largest companies in Wales - said: “This is a very exciting acquisition for Premier; one that we believe has the potential to have a big impact on our operations.

“The sawmills current financial performance shows great potential for bringing improved earnings, significantly increasing the volume of material we distribute, improving our environmental credentials and giving us a secure supply source of fencing and pallet wood products, whilst in addition giving control of the quality and product range produced.

“The Border Group has an excellent reputation and the sawmilling arm is run extremely efficiently, making it a very attractive prospect.

“We are confident that this acquisition will be beneficial to both companies, ultimately contributing significantly to Premier’s ongoing success.”

HSBC’s Wales Corporate Banking team, based in Cardiff, provided a significant seven-figure funding package to support Premier in the acquisition.

Senior Corporate Banking Manager Mike Kear, who acted on behalf of the bank for the acquisition, commented: “Premier Forest Products is a growing business and deals like this one further propel the company. We are pleased to have supported this latest acquisition.”

The Border Group is a large, privately owned group of companies, founded in 1965.

Ernie Branfield, the group’s chairman, said: “We decided to sell the sawmill arm of the company to focus on our core businesses. We are very proud of the company that we have created and would only have considered selling GTP Border Forest and Border Forest Products to a company that shared our core values – which we believe Premier does.

“We consider ourselves very lucky to have built a strong business with the staff we have worked with and we are sure that the business will go onto great things under the Premier banner.”


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