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Cowal buys John Cameron

Independent builders merchant Cowal Building and Plumbing Supplies Ltd has bought John Cameron Plumbers and Builders Merchants Ltd.

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Family-run Cowal’s acquisition of Cameron’s is its third major acquisition in five years, after Reddance Building Supplies in 2017 and Catherwood Construction Materials in 2021, along with the three Cowal depots in Dunoon, Rothesay and Balloch.

The trading name of John Cameron’s will be retained and the management team at the Cameron’s Kinning Parkway Industrial Estate site in Glasgow will remain with the business. Both Cowal and Cameron’s are founding partners of the National Buying Group (NBG).

The acquisition makes Cowal one of the largest general merchants in the West of Scotland with six sites and more than 60 employees.

Stewart Shaw Jr, Director at Cowal Building and Plumbing Supplies Ltd, said: “We have competed against Cameron’s for many years and have always admired their way of doing business, the quality of their people and commitment to their customers. They share our values, and we are confident that this acquisition will help drive both businesses forward and offer new opportunities to all our employees.”

He continued: “Our intention is to add a further two or three merchants to our group within the next few years. Our goal is to develop a self-sustaining business with strong management teams, whilst retaining the family values and closeness to our local communities that sets us apart.”

John Cameron said: “The John Cameron business has been in existence for more than 100 years, built up by myself, my father and my grandfather. It is never an easy decision to sell, but it was made easier by the relationship we have with both Stewart and his brother Steven, and the knowledge that our people and our customers are in good hands. I look forward to assisting with the integration of the two businesses.”

NBG Managing Director, Nick Oates, also welcomed the deal: “Networking and mutual support is a key part of the NBG way of working. This deal demonstrates that NBG Partners can help each other and provide an alternative exit strategy for business owners who care about the future of their business, their employees and their customers.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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