Acquisition season continues in earnest, with the announcement today that Stevenswood, supported by Cairngorm Capital, have acquired Truemans Holdings Limited (Truemans) which will see the Stevenswood expand it’s trade centre network further across the UK.

Here is the official press release:

Stevenswood acquires Truemans Holdings Limited to continue national trade counters strategy

Livingston, 10 March 2017: Stevenswood is pleased to announce the successful acquisition of Truemans Holdings Limited (Truemans), supported by a further investment from Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP (Cairngorm Capital). The purchase of Truemans supports Stevenswood’s ambition, to develop a national network of trade counters and become the leading trade counter distributor in the UK.

A wholly owned family business established in 1997, Truemans is a rapidly growing trade counter group, operating four trade counters in Burnley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Crewe, with another scheduled to open in Reading in spring 2017. The company employs 41 people and is forecast to achieve revenue of £10m in 2017.

Strategically, this acquisition presented the perfect opportunity for further expansion, as the Truemans stores complete important gaps in Stevenswood’s presence in England. Truemans’ managing director, Joe Trueman, will join the Stevenswood senior management team as Commercial Director filling an important role to drive Stevenswood’s continued growth strategy. The new combined group will continue to be headquarted in Livingston and will have over 30 branches across the UK, generating revenues of over £40m and employing over 165 people.

The completion of this acquisition also marks the decision by Ron Hepburn, Stevenswood’s founder, to retire. Having successfully built the Stevenswood business from a small window fabricator to become one of the UK’s leading window and door distributors, with revenues of over £30m from 25 trade counters nationwide, Ron considers this to be the ideal time to step back from the business. He commented, “The acquisition of Polyframe’s trade centres in November was the culmination of a 20 year ambition to grow my young business into the successful enterprise that it is today. To have achieved so much and with the support of a great team fills me with pride.  At the time of the deal, I committed to stay for a limited period to ensure that the merger transitioned well, to give my management team the support that they required during a period of intense change and to prepare the company to fulfil its potential. This acquisition signals the next stage in the company’s future and the logical point for me to step aside.” 

John Declerck, a Stevenswood non-executive director, will join the business full time as Group Chief Executive. He brings over 15 years global executive experience in procurement, merchandising, brand strategy and digital marketing for building materials and home improvement firms such as Kingfisher and Home Depot.

John is supported by a proven and talented management team: Duncan Murray as Chief Operations Officer, Joe Trueman as Commercial Director, Nick Summers leading Stevenswood’s continued acquisition strategy and Murray McGarvie as Financial Director. To provide additional support, Stevenswood has strengthened its board with the appointment of Jim Faulds as non-executive Chairman. Jim brings considerable experience of supporting private equity backed investments in a non-executive capacity and as the founder of The Faulds Group, which he sold in 2001.

Jim Faulds, Stevenswood’s Chairman, said, “On behalf of all at Stevenswood, I would like to thank Ron Hepburn for his unstinting support and commitment over the last few months. That we are in a position to complete this acquisition with Truemans and pursue our strategy for growth, is testament to the great company and great team that he built. We wish him the very best for the future.”

John Declerck, Group Chief Executive of Stevenswood said, “The coming together of Truemans and Stevenswood underlines our mutual strategic commitment to become the leading trade counter distributor of windows and doors in the UK. Our collective focus is to build a customer-led business with improved stores, an enhanced product range and a consistently excellent service offering.”

Joe Trueman, Managing Director of Truemans added,This is the perfect partnership for two businesses which share a commitment to the highest standards of customer service. There are great opportunities across the sector and the alignment of our goals, values and vision, offers significant strategic benefits for both organisations. I look forward to joining the Stevenswood team to accelerate our combined growth strategy, while providing the widest product range and highest levels of customer service in the industry.

Stevenswood and Cairngorm Capital were advised on this transaction by PwC (financial and tax) and Bond Dickinson (legal). Truemans was advised by Napthens (legal) and Cassons (financial). Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group provided working capital facilities to support the transaction.

DGB Tech


There are two stories in this acquisition for me. The first is the success that Joe Trueman, his family, friends and dedicated staff have made of the Truemans business. A popular, well respected fenestration company with slightly different model to traditional fabricators or suppliers. They have made it work and made it work well, with recent expansion into other cities in the north of the UK. This should be a moment of pride for the whole team, and a cause for congratulations on a job well done.

The second story is the continuing success and strength in the trade counter business in UK fenestration. It is changing the dynamic of how our industry produces and purchases windows, doors and all manner of ancillary materials. For the smaller installers, it’s about convenience and reliability. The ability to walk into a trade counter, in this case a Stevenswood trade counter, and be able to pick up everything they need to get their job done. The fact more and more are selling full windows and doors is also changing how we supply full products to the installation part of the market.

In modern-day business speak, trade counters are becoming the “disruptors”. The ones sticking a spanner in the traditional works and making good gains.

A personal congratulations to both parties on this deal, and it will be interesting to see what extra inrodes Stevenswood may make in due course to expand it’s network even further.

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