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May 14, 2021
A longstanding North East sawmilling business is under new ownership after the Wentworth family decided to sell the business to the UK’s largest privately-owned sawmill, timber engineering and pallet manufacturing company.
County Durham-headquartered GT Timber has been acquired by James Jones & Sons Ltd for an undisclosed sum.
GT Timber is the parent company of Taylormade Timber Products and Kerr Timber Products, which operate sawmills in Sherburn Hill and in Annan in Scotland respectively, and which together employ 225 people.
The trading companies produce a range of Forest Stewardship Council-certified products for customers across the UK in a variety of markets, including the fencing, pallet and packaging sectors.
The original shareholders Doug and Annie Wentworth exit the business, whilst the other shareholders are remaining in their roles under the new owners.
Michael Cantwell, Anthony Andreasen and Paul Gainford of long-term company advisors RMT Accountants & Business Advisors acted for the GT Timber management team on the disposal, with Daniel McCormack of Lupton Fawcett Solicitors in Leeds providing legal advice.
The combined James Jones & Sons group now employs over 1,200 people and operates eight sawlines which supply the most technologically advanced secondary timber processing facilities in the UK.
Tom Bruce-Jones, Chairman of James Jones & Sons Ltd, says: “We are delighted to have concluded this transaction and really pleased that the existing management team is staying on within the enlarged group to provide continuity, facilitate the integration and to help realise our long-term strategic plans.
“The sawn output from both mills will complement our portfolio and will allow us to offer increased product opportunities for our existing, and newly expanded, customer base.”
Jilly Wentworth, Managing Director of GT Timber Ltd, adds: “I am very pleased that GT Timber Ltd has become part of the James Jones Group, as their extensive timber industry experience and financial strength will allow the investment programme that we have already started to reach a successful conclusion.
“The sale process was completed quickly and smoothly, reinforcing our long-held views that James Jones & Sons Ltd is a family company that shares the same values, ethos and philosophy as us, and we are very excited about the future.
“RMT’s advice and guidance has been central to our strategic business planning for many years, and the team’s expert support around the sale of the business ensured the transaction progressed very efficiently.”
Michael Cantwell, head of corporate finance at RMT Accountants, says: “GT Timber is a fantastic example of everything that a successful, well-run family business should be, and we’re extremely pleased to have been able to help the shareholders realise their objectives from this deal.”
Dan McCormack, corporate partner, Lupton Fawcett, said: “It was a pleasure working for Jilly and the other shareholders on the transaction, and the fact that the existing management team is remaining in the business should help the GT Timber group go from strength to strength under the ownership of James Jones & Sons.”