BSW Timber acquired by private equity firm

Scottish timber company BSW Timber has been acquired by Leeds-based private equity firm Endless for an undisclosed sum after more than 170 years of family ownership.

BSW Timber acquired by private equity firm

With its headquarters located in Earlston, BSW is the UK’s largest integrated forestry and sawmilling business, with eight sawmills (including one in Latvia) employing over 1,200 people and an annual turnover of £350 million.

The company said the acquisition is set to drive its ambitious future growth plans and support its deep commitment to sustainable forestry.

BSW chief executive Tony Hackney and chief financial officer Alan Milne are to stay in charge of the business, which has sawmills at Corpach in Lochaber and Boat of Garten near Aviemore

Mr Hackney said: “This is fantastic news for BSW. Whilst it is business as usual, we are excited by the opportunities new ownership will bring us and we look forward to entering a new era of rapid growth and development under Endless’ ownership.

“We would also like to thank the Brownlie family for creating such a strong legacy and supporting the growth of the company and its employees.”

Aidan Robson, a partner at Endless, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to support the acquisition of BSW, a business with fantastic prospects and one that we believe has a very exciting future.

“As the country’s largest timber producer, BSW plays a critical role in supporting the UK’s commitment to using more local and sustainable raw materials and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“We look forward to working closely with Tony, Alan and the rest of the BSW team to deliver continued organic growth and further diversification through investment and acquisition.”

The corporate finance team at Burges Salmon advised BSW’s majority shareholders on the sale. 

Partner Danny Lee, based in the firm’s Edinburgh office, led the multi-disciplinary team advising on the transaction, with support from director Joanna Monaghan and solicitor Niall Mackle.

BSW chairman Martin Gale, who led the transaction team, said: “Selling a family business with over 170 years of successful trading, combined with a complicated shareholder base is a formidable task. Burges Salmon pursued this task with impressive professionalism and sensitivity, whilst balancing legal robustness with diplomacy.

“Danny Lee and his team have been instrumental in securing the key parameters of the sale, which now ensures a solid future for BSW in the 21st Century. On behalf of the shareholders, I am delighted Burges Salmon led by Danny Lee has been such a solid part of our Deal Team.”

Mr Lee added: “Having advised BSW for over 20 years, it gave me great personal satisfaction to help one of Scotland’s most successful private companies achieve such a significant milestone. Under Endless’ ownership and the guidance of an impressive management team led by CEO Tony Hackney and CFO Alan Milne, I have no doubt BSW will continue to expand and innovate.”

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