Murdock Builders Merchants, the timber suppliers and builders’ merchants based in Newry, Northern Ireland, has bought the oldest builders’ merchant in Ireland – the Brooks Group. The Brooks Group comprises Brooks Builders Merchants and Dublin Plywood and Veneer (DPV), from Wales-based Premier Forest Product Group. The acquisition will lead to the return of Irish ownership, after a 40-year interval, of Brooks – leading to the establishment of a strong force in the market with reach throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Murdocks has 10 branches and two timber processing facilities in Northern Ireland, as well as four merchanting outlets in the Republic of Ireland. Brooks has seven builders’ merchants branches in the Republic, and DPV has its timber distribution based in Dublin.
Ciaran Murdock, of Murdocks, said: “We are delighted to be announcing the acquisition of Brooks Group, a business we have always held in high regard. Since establishing Murdock Builders Merchants in 1982, we have gradually built the Murdocks business by opening new branches along with some single site acquisitions. Today’s announcement marks an important strategic move in significantly broadening our footprint in the Republic through the Brooks business. We believe that this provides us with a great platform for further expansion in Ireland.
“It is also notable that Brooks, which was originally established in 1750 and has a long and storied heritage in timber provision and in merchanting in Ireland, returns to Irish ownership for the first time since 1981. We very much look forward to working with our new colleagues and the Brooks management team who have done such a good job in growing the business over the past number of years.”
Terry Edgell, CEO and co‐founder of Premier Forest Group, said: “We have really enjoyed our period of ownership of both Brooks and DPV. I would like to thank the dedicated Brooks leadership team and all the staff who have worked so hard to get the business to this point. We wish both businesses the best of luck and all the success for their future.”
Mark Lohan, the Managing Director of Brooks Group, said: “The combination of Brooks with Murdocks comes at a great time for the business. We have made significant progress in realising the objectives of our strategy, strengthening the fundamentals, enhancing resilience and delivering performance. The team at Brooks is ambitious for the business and that ambition is matched by Ciaran and his colleagues. We’re looking forward to an exciting new chapter for the combined business.”
Murdocks has also announced that, following completion of the acquisition, it plans to appoint Eddie Kelly as chairman of Brooks Group. Kelly has had a significant career in Irish builders merchanting and as chief executive, led Grafton’s merchanting business in Ireland for seven years prior to his recent retirement. Paul Lynch, former executive director at Heiton Group plc and CFO of Applegreen plc will also join the Board as a non-executive director following completion.
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