Merger to create interiors manufacturing giant

Posted on 27 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

SIG, the European construction products specialist, has sold its Interiors Manufacturing division to Laidlaw, backed by UK mid-market private equity firm Rutland Partners, for £14m.

Laidlaw is a UK supplier of architectural ironmongery, doorsets, handrail and balustrading systems into the construction market. SIG Interiors Manufacturing (SIGIM) includes brands in commercial doors and partition systems, Leaderflush Shapland and Komfort respectively, and the Cubicle Systems washroom and Tufwell Glass businesses.

Rutland Partners acquired Laidlaw and SIGIM simultaneously, with investment also coming from John Jefferies, CEO of Laidlaw. The new group will be called Laidlaw Interiors Group, and Jefferies will be CEO.

In 2010, SIGIM made a loss before tax of over £49m.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Cartwright, managing partner of Rutland, said: “SIGIM is now non-core and underperforming within the much larger SIG plc group. Its acquisition alongside Laidlaw creates a leading commercial interiors manufacturing and distribution group. We believe that with Rutland’s support and the leadership of John Jefferies, the enlarged group will be able to capitalise on its strong market position.”

The acquisition is expected to create the leading supplier to the UK commercial interiors market for doorsets, ironmongery and partition systems. The group will have combined revenues of approximately £130 million. Rutland and John Jefferies intend to restructure and further invest in SIGIM to turn around its performance and merge it with the Laidlaw business.

SIG chief executive Chris Davies, said: “This divestment, together with the recent disposals of our scaffolding and safety and workwear businesses, enables us to better focus on our core distribution and merchanting operations and helps to rebalance the group’s exposure further towards residential markets.”

SIG will use the proceeds of the sale of SIGIM to Laidlaw to reduce its net debt.

Pinsent Masons, an international law firm providing a full range of corporate, financial and commercial legal services to major UK and international corporations, institutions and public bodies, advised SIG on the sale. The advising team was led by corporate partner Philip Goldsborough together with senior associate Shiv Sibal and associate Michael Walby.

Philip Goldsborough commented: “We are delighted to have advised SIG on the strategic disposal of its Interiors Manufacturing business. This will help SIG to focus on and develop its core operations and markets going forward.”