Cairngorm Capital scaling new heights with timber take-over

Dundee-headquartered Rembrand to be merged with Thornbridge business. Picture: Contributed
Dundee-headquartered Rembrand to be merged with Thornbridge business. Picture: Contributed
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Cairngorm Capital Partners, the private equity outfit, has acquired Dundee-based Rembrand Timber to create one of the biggest timber distribution companies covering Scotland and the north of England.

The Rembrand business will be merged with Cairngorm’s existing portfolio company, Thornbridge.

The deal has been described as a “milestone” in the growth strategy for both timber businesses.

The terms of the latest agreement have not been disclosed but together with NYTimber – acquired by Thornbridge in February – the businesses will create a group with 35 branches, 28 of which are in Scotland, revenues exceeding £100 million and more than 600 employees.

Established in 1982 and headquartered in Dundee, Rembrand is an importer, manufacturer and distributor of timber. It has two manufacturing sites and 20 branches across Scotland, serving a range of customers in the construction industry.

The firm also offers a broad selection of roofing, insulation, and other building materials via its subsidiary companies, Scotia Roofing, Glow Insulation & Site Supplies and Rembrand Builders Merchants.

The acquisition was triggered by the retirement of George Low, managing director and sole owner of Rembrand, who will remain in the business for a short period to ensure a “smooth transition”. It also marks the decision by Bruce Muirhead, Thornbridge’s managing director, to step back from the day to day running of the business and to continue his involvement in a non-executive capacity.

Following Cairngorm Capital’s initial investment in Thornbridge eight months ago, Muirhead committed to stay for a limited period to guide the business through its first phase of growth.

Rob Barclay joins as group chief executive from SIG, one of the largest distributors of specialist building products in Europe, where most recently he was group managing director for the UK and Ireland.

The deal was led by Neil McGill, investment director and head of Cairngorm Capital’s Edinburgh office, who said: “As investors we are actively engaged in the strategy and operational development of our portfolio companies.

“We have been looking for further opportunities to continue the growth of our timber business.

“The complementary geographic fit between Rembrand’s and Thornbridge’s branches delivers immediate distribution advantages.”