Murdock Builders Merchants (“Murdocks”), the Newry headquartered timber suppliers and builders’ merchants, announces the acquisition of Brooks Group, comprising Brooks Builders Merchants (“Brooks”) and Dublin Plywood and Veneer (‘DPV’), from Welsh based Premier Forest Products Group. The transaction is subject to the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
The transaction will lead to the return to Irish ownership, after a forty year interval, of Brooks, Ireland’s oldest name in builders merchanting and leads to the establishment of a strong competitive force in the market with significant reach throughout the island 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.
Announcing the transaction 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.”
Welcoming the announcement, 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. Eddie 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.
Murdock Builders Merchants was originally established in 1982 by the Murdock family. Initially based on the Rathfriland Road in Newry, the business moved following early growth to the Greenbank Industrial Estate in Newry, where it is headquartered today. Over the past 39 years, Murdocks has grown and developed, organically and by acquisition, to a position where it now is now is the leading family-owned builders’ merchants in Ireland with 14 branches and 2 timber mills.
Brooks traces its origins in the construction sector back to the late 1700s. Today, its branches are based in urban areas and strategically located to offer national coverage. The brand has grown by developing a product offering, online and in the branches, in harmony with customer needs. Its longevity continues to be rooted in thought leadership. Through its work with the RIAI and its sustainability credentials of FSC and PEFC, the brand has adapted and thrived.
Grant Thornton provided corporate finance and tax advice and Eugene F. Collins legal advice to Murdocks on this transaction.