Leeds private equity firm Endless buys BSW Timber

Leeds-based private equity investor Endless LLP said on Wednesday it acquired Earlston-based BSW Timber Limited and all its associated subsidiaries.

BSW is the UK’s largest integrated forestry and sawmilling business with turnover of over £350 million and 1,200 employees.  

Founded in 1848 and headquartered in Earlston in the Scottish Borders, the business comprises five main operating divisions:  tree nurseries, forestry management, tree harvesting, sawmilling, and energy.  

It operates seven sawmills across the UK and one in Latvia.

“BSW generated in excess of £16 million EBITDA in FY19 and over the last ten years has invested more than £125 million in its operations,” said Endless LLP.

“The business is deeply committed to supporting sustainable forestry and has recently vertically integrated through its acquisition of Maelor Forest Nurseries, a tree nursery business, which produces over 28 million tree saplings every year, ensuring sustainability of the UK’s forests.  

“For every tree BSW harvests, a minimum of five trees are planted in its place.”

Tony Hackney, CEO of BSW, 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 with Endless’ support.  

“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.”

Endless LLP partner Aidan Robson said: “We are delighted to have acquired BSW, a business with strong heritage, fantastic prospects and one that we believe has a very exciting future.  

“As the UK’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 Hackney, Alan Milne and the rest of the BSW team to deliver continued organic growth and further diversification through investment and acquisition.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland asset based lending team supported the transaction.  

Andrew Barraclough, Head of Regional Asset Based Lending at RBoS ABL, added: “We are delighted to be continuing to support such a fantastic Scottish business and long-standing client of the bank.”

Endless was advised by Walker Morris (Legal), Deloitte (Pensions), Poyry (Commercial), KPMG (Tax), and EY (Financial). 

BSW were advised by MCF Corporate Finance (Corporate Finance); and Burges Salmon (Legal). Management were advised by Liberty Corporate Finance.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.