End of an era as family-run firm agrees to takeover deal

PUBLISHED: 11:29 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:29 19 October 2018




Independent builders merchants, Huws Gray has acquired Ridgeons, an independently owned timber and builders merchants trading from more than 40 branches, including Saffron Walden.

The acquisition will significantly increase Huws Gray’s reach in the area and broaden its national presence, making it the UK’s largest independent builders merchants.

Like Huws Gray, Ridgeons has a strong focus on the repair, improvement and maintenance market, and has a customer base of more than 16,000 clients. The deal, which was confirmed earlier this month, is the fifth acquisition made by Huws Gray in less than six months.

Gordon Ridgeon, on behalf of the Ridgeon family, said: “Our priority was to find a new owner for Ridgeons with the same culture and values. We are confident that in Huws Gray we have found a like-minded owner who will further strengthen the Ridgeon brand and continue to build on the success of the past 107 years.”

The chief executive of Huws Gray, Terry Owen, said the acquisition of Ridgeons represented a “real milestone” for the company.

“Ridgeons is an excellent business with a genuine leadership position in its region and is a perfect addition to Huws Gray’s growing footprint,” Mr Own said. “We were struck not only by the strength of the company, but also by the considerable similarities between our cultures and management style.”

Founded in 1990, Huws Gray has grown from a single operation in Anglesey, Wales, to 62 trading locations across the UK. It employs almost 900 staff.

Ridgeons was founded in 1911 by Cyril Ridgeon at his home in Cambridge and the company’s mission has stayed the same since 1911 – to make it easier for their customers to do business. Each branch has qualified, informed staff on hand to help with any building needs quickly and effectively.

Ridgeons’ client base includes tradespeople, construction workers, builders, plumbing and heating engineers, developers, and the public sector. Customers can purchase in store for collection or delivery.

The investment in Ridgeons by Huws Gray was made with affiliated funds and the deal advised by Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP.

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