Earlston-based BSW Timber Limited — the largest integrated forestry business in the UK — said on Friday it acquired Maelor Forest Nurseries Holdings Ltd.
Maelor Forest Nurseries plans to expand into Scotland and is also heavily involved in the scientific research associated with the production of improved tree stocks with enhanced genetics.
BSW already employs 1,300 people and the group has seven sawmills in the UK — Newbridge-on-Wye, Southampton, Carlisle, Dalbeattie, Petersmuir, Fort William and Boat of Garten — and one in Riga, Latvia.
“In addition to securing the future for the delivery of home-grown British trees to the UK forest industry, this exciting acquisition will enable Maelor Forest Nurseries Holdings Ltd to progress with their visionary expansion plans,” said BSW.
“These include the highly important and valuable scientific research work the nursery is renowned for undertaking.
“The foundations for this work have been supported over many years by the close working relationship with Tilhill Forestry, also part of the BSW Group.”
Maelor Forest Nurseries Holdings Ltd is located in Wrexham on the English-Welsh Border and produces an extensive range of commercial forestry and native broadleaf species, marketing almost 30 million trees a year to customers throughout the UK and Europe.
“The acquisition will immediately benefit the quality tree supply to the whole of the forest industry by means of Maelor’s forthcoming expansion into Morayshire,” added BSW.
“The result of which will provide the facilities to bring an additional five to 10 million plants into the supply chain annually.”
BSW Timber Group CEO Tony Hackney said: “This is a significant acquisition both for the BSW Group and the forest industry as a whole.
“Maelor’s strength lies in bringing quality home grown trees to the market and for providing a platform for the research involved in ensuring a sustainable supply of better quality trees for the future.
“This acquisition is a key component of BSW’s vision for the future of forestry and its strategy of vertical integration providing high quality resultant timber products.
“We are really looking forward to working with Mike and his team and exploring areas for potential growth.”
Maelor Forest Nurseries MD Mike Harvey said: “I am delighted that the future of Maelor Forest Nurseries Holdings Ltd has been secured.
“This is an extremely exciting step in the history of the company and one that is going to bring a multitude of benefits to not only our existing customers but forestry as a whole.
“In particular, we can now press ahead with our expansion plans and increase production.
“The forest industry can consider that, as of today, the future of commercial trees as its key commodity is now significantly healthier.”
Burges Salmon LLP and EY advised BSW Timber, with support from RBS. Brodies advised the sellers.