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Management buyout for Pinewood Structures Limited

15 January 2007

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It is announced today, 15th January 2007, that leading timber frame supplier Pinewood Structures Limited has been acquired by its management through a fully funded, venture capitalist-backed management buyout (MBO). Pinewood Structures Limited’s current managing director, Geoff Arnold, led the buyout which was completed on 20th December 2006.

It is announced today, 15th January 2007, that leading timber frame supplier Pinewood Structures Limited has been acquired by its management through a fully funded, venture capitalist-backed management buyout (MBO). Pinewood Structures Limited’s current managing director, Geoff Arnold, led the buyout which was completed on 20th December 2006.

Venture capitalist Matrix Private Equity Partners LLP has backed the buyout supported by senior debt and working capital from Bank of Ireland with Baker Tilly acting as business advisers to Pinewood Structures’ management, led by partner Sean McLaughlin.

Jonathan Gregory led the deal for Matrix and said: “Matrix was attracted to Pinewood Structures for two reasons. The business is a highly experienced supply chain manager in this segment of the UK construction market. Matrix believes that sophisticated UK producers of bulky products with efficient assembly and flexible call off facilities will continue to enjoy competitive advantage over overseas manufacturers.”

Pinewood Structures was established in 1981 and is one of the largest manufacturers of timber framed structures in the UK. The transaction represents an exit for the founders, chairman Terry Emery and technical director Tony D’Alton, who with the non-executive investors have fully supported the MBO as the most effective way of securing the company’s future. The non executive shareholders have re-invested in the new business demonstrating their confidence in the business and sector.

Managing Director Geoff Arnold said: “We are looking forward to a very exciting period. At a time when environmental performance issues are at the fore, timber frame construction is fast becoming the first choice for many in the construction industry. The MBO will ensure Pinewood Structures remains one of the top timber frame suppliers in the UK by providing strong management and financial foundations to allow us to capitalise on the continued growth in this sector. There is also great potential for the company to expand both organically and through acquisition.”

Pinewood Structures’ customers include major contractors and housing developers such as George Wimpey, St James, John Laing Partnership and Persimmon who have all pledged their support for the MBO. Colin Marshall commercial director of George Wimpey North Thames said: “It is vital for us to provide our customers with a first class product through a reliable and financially secure supply chain. We actively promote the use of modern methods of construction as a way of ensuring fast and accurate build programmes while also recognising the huge environmental benefits of using timber frame construction. Pinewood Structures has been very successful in helping us to achieve our goals in these areas for the last 15 years. We wish the business the very best of luck and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Pinewood Structures in the future.”

Geoff Arnold says the changes will have a positive impact on customers: “They will continue to receive the high level of support that they have come to expect from Pinewood Structures. They can rest assured that the management team is committed to being at the forefront of the timber frame industry ensuring that our customers benefit from technological developments in the sector.”

Pinewood Structures’ suppliers also support the MBO. Rod Allan, UK Managing Director of engineered wood provider Finnforest said: “We have been working with Pinewood Structures since 2002 and will watch their development with great interest over the coming years. Our sector is seeing a period of growth and our relationships with strong clients like Pinewood Structures are helping us ensure success for all.”

Pinewood Structures is currently working on The SmartLIFE Housing Project which will demonstrate how modern methods of construction can be used to improve construction efficiency and help alleviate housing shortages. Around 100 houses will be built at three sites in Cambridgeshire. 75% of the houses will be built using three modern methods of construction, including the Pinewood Structures timber frame system and will be compared and monitored against the remaining homes built using the traditional ‘brick and block’ method.

Pinewood Structures, working for George Wimpey, has also recently completed a landmark development in the heart of Cambridge to provide 183 energy-efficient homes for both the private and social housing sectors.


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