Many have known about the misfortune to fall on GBW Panels of late. They had indeed gone into administration, but with little known about the future of the company, or any news to come out from them, there were a few question marks hanging around.

Well now we know. They have been acquired by Customade Group.

Press release: Customade Group Invests In Door Growth:

This is the release that has been sent to trade media:

Customade Group Trading Limited (“Customade”) has acquired the manufacturing assets of Worcester-based GBW Panels Ltd from administrators Leonard Curtis. The manufacture of GBW panels will be moved to Customade’s Virtuoso Doors division, the Birtley based manufacturer of composite door sets and PVCu door panels.

These changes come into effect immediately and the GBW panel additions will further enhance the extensive range of PVCu door panels already available from Virtuoso. Any former customers of GBW are welcome to contact Tony Craggs the MD of Virtuoso Doors who will work with them to ensure continued availability.

Tony can be contacted on 0191 410 9333 or [email protected]

David Leng, Customade CEO, said: “Virtuoso Doors has been a huge success over the last few years with spectacular growth in both composite doors and panels, benefitting from more than £1 million of capex investment from Customade. We continue to invest heavily in our composite door factory, most recently with a new Stuga machine centre being installed this month. Acquiring an extensive range of assets to support growth in our panel sales is a great opportunity and we welcome any previous GBW customers to come and trade with our group.”

Virtuoso Doors was a G18 award winner for Promotional Campaign of the Year 2018 and recently launched Virtu-AL, the first contemporary composite door with the premium finish of an aluminium entrance door.

About Customade Group

Virtuoso Doors is a trading name of Polyframe Doors Limited and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Customade, which operates nationwide and employs 1100 people in multiple manufacturing sites across the UK. The group includes REAL Aluminium (aluminium), Atlas Glazed Roof Solutions (glazed roofs), Virtuoso Doors (composite and PVCu door panels), Polyframe (PVCu windows, doors and conservatories), Hourglass Seal (sealed glass units), Stevenswood Trade Centres (trade counters) and Fineline Aluminium (specialist glazing). Customade brings its trade customers the best choice of products, materials, price points and added value services through one single relationship.

About GBW Panels

Located in the heart of England, in Worcester, we have some 40 years experience in the manufacture of door panels and over 18 years experience in manufacturing door sets. From an annual output of 100,000 panels and 10,000 composite doors, 30% are exported to continental Europe making us the largest exporter in our field.

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Growing group

In Customade Group we have another super-group that continues to grow via acqusition. This is something I have talked about in the past as something that we’re going to see more of in the coming few years as the industry seeks to consolidate further. Those with the money and growth plans will begin to hoover up either competitors or companies who are similarly aligned to themselves to expand their market share.

What we may end up with in the next few years is a situation where a series of super-groups have in their stables many of the main players in each part of our market. Whether you believe that is a good or bad thing is a topic to explore in another post.

With the likes of Masco UK Window Group also now up for sale, there will be other companies out there potentially having a look at those assets and deciding whether those particular brands will make a worthy purchase. Will it be an already established group? Will someone new stride into the spotlight to make waves in the industry? We’ll know in 6-9 months time.

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