Another acquisition for timber merchant

Decorpanel managing director Anthony Hopps (centre) with Richard and Lisa Williams of North-East Sheets & Panels

North-East Sheets & Panels becomes Premier Forest Products’ third acquisition of the year and second in County Durham alone.

Acquisitions have helped Premier Forest Products double its revenues over the past five years to £120m. In February 2023 Premier took over Decorpanel, a £15m turnover distributor and converter of wood panel products, and set it up as the group’s northern arm.

Earlier this month it acquired fire door manufacturer Paul White Ironmongery, Doors & Fixings (PWIDF).

The latest acquisition, North-East Sheets & Panels, is a specialist manufacturer and supplier of made-to-measure doors, panels, cabinets and worktops to trade customers and retailers in the fitted kitchen, bathroom and bedroom (KBB) sector. Based in Stanley, it has traded since 1998.

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Richard and Lisa Williams, joint owners and directors of North-East Sheets & Panels (NESP), have chosen to step down from their current positions and retire early on the proceeds of the sale (both are in their 50s).  Anthony Hopps, managing director of Decorpanel, will be expanding his role to cover NESP as division director.

Richard Williams said: “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of North-East Sheets & Panels by Premier Forest Products, marking a new chapter in the company’s story. Our 21 dedicated staff will remain in their roles, providing Premier Forest with the benefit of their considerable expertise and experience that has allowed us to grow into the business it is today. Whilst Lisa and I are sad to leave North-East Sheets & Panels, it is an exciting time in our lives as we embark on our retirement.”

Terry Edgell, co-founder and chief executive of Premier Forest Products, said: “This acquisition is the perfect fit for Premier Forest Products, as the synergies between the business and Decorpanel provide exciting opportunities for growth in the north-east and nationwide. North-East Sheets & Panels’ skills and expertise fit perfectly with our strategic goal of expanding value-add product categories, whilst the business will thrive by expanding its manufacturing capacity via Decorpanel and continuing to produce quality, made-to-measure doors, panels, cabinets and worktops.

“Acquisitions are a key part of Premier Forest’s strategic growth plan and we are continually seeking new opportunities to welcome businesses like NESP to the Premier Forest family.”

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