On 31 March, Södra acquired the remaining shares in Crown Timber Group Plc (Crown Timber). Södra previously held approximately 20 percent of the shares in the company.
"The UK is our principal export market. This acquisition gives us valuable control over the entire supply chain - from the forest to the end users - and provides potential for growth," says Jörgen Lindquist, Interim President at Södra Wood.
Crown Timber is a market-leading distributor of structural timber products to the UK and Irish timber engineering sector and to timber and builders' merchants. The company reported sales of nearly GBP 120 million in 2015.
Crown Timber will become part of the Södra Wood business area within the Södra Group. It will incorporate all of Södra's activities in the UK and Irish markets, including those to be conducted by the sales company that Södra was planning to launch in the UK in the first quarter of 2016.
"We will gain an organization in the UK and Ireland that we already have in a number of our other markets, with control over the entire supply chain - from the forest to the customer. We also want to develop the business by adding the remainder of our range, meaning interior wood products, solid and parquet flooring and energy products, such as wood pellets," says Jörgen Lindquist.
Crown Timber operates four distribution terminals and timber treatment centres at Dundee in Scotland, Wicklow in Ireland, and Sheerness and New Holland, both in England. The company also owns a sawmill in Hamina, Finland, which produces 150,000 cubic meters of sawn timber annually. The company has 41 employees in the UK and Ireland and 40 employees at the sawmill in Hamina.
"Crown Timber has been operated as a very successful business for many years and our intention is to continue using the same business model, while also being firmly integrated with Södra. In other words, it's business as usual," says Jörgen Lindquist.
Crown Timber Group's chief executive and largest shareholder Stuart McIntyre, who will be leaving the company, commented "We have been a customer of Södra for close to thirty years and we know the company well. We believe that Södra is well placed to take this company forward, and it is inheriting a great workforce and management team who can help it move from strength to strength in the period ahead."
Södra already has sales offices in China, Germany, the Netherlands, the US, Norway and Denmark.
The acquisition will take immediate effect and Christer Thörn, HR Director at Södra, will serve as Interim President until a permanent replacement has been found.