Builders merchant Jewson will now have a stronger hold in the south east now that the acquisition of its rival Build Center has completed.
That’s according to Peter Hindle MBE, Saint Gobain Building Distribution chairman who told buildersmerchantsjournal.net that the move opens up new opportunities in developing Build Center specialisms such as glass and ironmongery and integrating them with the Jewson network.
This comes from the knowledge and expertise that Build Center staff will bring to the company, he said.
“The purchase brings scale and it brings a bigger presence in the London and south east market, which is still the biggest market for construction activity in the UK,” he said. “It strengthens our position, particularly in those two areas of the country. Overall I think it’s a complementary fit strategically to Jewson, and will continue to develop in terms of this generalist market.”
The Build Center branch network will be split between the Jewson and Gibbs and Dandy brands. Hindle said that the group had no preconceived plan of how the network would be split, but that the priority would be Jewson in many areas.
“Where it makes more sense for it to be Gibbs and Dandy, with the market dynamic being fully understood, we’ll go with Gibbs and Dandy. There will be a number that will go Gibbs and Dandy I’m sure, but the majority will be Jewson.”
The Office of Fair Trading is now undergoing its review of the takeover following the completion of a regulatory review by the European Commission. Hindle said that the group did a lot of work before making the offer for Build Center to ensure that there would be the minimum of issues, but the company would abide by the OFT’s ultimate decision.
“Trade Point are claiming to have quite a big trade market and Screwfix claim to have a trade customer base, and so the market dynamics have changed somewhat over the recent years. We’re going to work closely with the OFT to enable them to do their job. I’m sure there will be lots of questions around the industry in terms of what it means, but at the end of the day it’s the OFT’s decision, and we’ll go along with that and respond accordingly.”