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RGB acquired by Grant & Stone Group to create the largest independent builders’ merchant group in southern England

The Corporate Finance team, led by Andrew Killick and Matt Willmott, have advised RGB on the sale to Grant & Stone Group.

Founded in 1850, with a long and prestigious history, RGB Building Supplies (RGB) is one of the leading independent builders merchants in the South West serving customers across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Headquartered in Barnstaple, its 22 branches offer trade and retail customers an array of landscaping, plumbing and heating, heavyside and lightside, decorating and general building materials, as well as dedicated kitchen, bathroom and bedroom showrooms in many locations. RGB also operates a timber sawmill and engineered wood product business under the RTD brand. RGB employs over 300 people and in 2020, achieved revenues of £70 million.

The acquisition by Grant and Stone creates the largest independent builders’ merchant group in southern England with 74 branches stretching from West London to Cornwall, and over 800 employees and combined revenues in excess of £230m.

Grant & Stone’s strategy, backed by Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP, a specialist private investment firm providing equity capital and management expertise, has been to develop its builders’ merchant business through a combination of acquisitions, new site development and organic growth. With no overlap of locations, RGB’s highly complementary branch network and product range provide geographic expansion, product extension and provides a strong platform for further growth.

Photography by www.andycaseyphotography.co.uk

RGB’s Chief Executive, Kevin Fenlon, will continue to run the business, reporting to Nick House, Grant & Stone’s Group CEO, and will join the Grant & Stone Group board. 

Kevin Fenlon, chief executive of RGB said, “This partnership is exciting and will deliver great things. I am looking forward to joining the Board and working together with the Grant & Stone Directors to advance the long-term strategy and future direction of the Group. This transaction, however, would not have been possible without the support of our advisers. Andy and Matt at PKF Francis Clark and the team at Ashfords, led by Andy Young and Louise Workman, demonstrated flexibility, determination and commitment to pull the right deal together for the RGB staff and shareholders. A massive thank you as we would not be where we are today without all their help and support.”

Matt Willmott, Corporate Finance Director commented: “We are really pleased to have supported Kevin and the team over the last few years, firstly with the MBO in 2014 and now culminating with the successful transaction with Grant and Stone and Cairngorm. There is a really good cultural fit between the businesses, and they have demonstrated great resilience over the last year and we expect this to continue. There were many interesting elements that made this transaction complex and we are delighted that Kevin, his team and all the employees at RGB have benefitted.”

RGB was advised by PKF Francis Clark (corporate finance) and Ashfords (legal). Grant & Stone was advised by Grant Thornton (financial and tax), Gowling (legal), MDW Capital (financing advice) and funding for this transaction was provided by Ares and Santander.

To read our South West Deals Review 2020, click here.

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