STEWART Milne Group has announced it is selling its timber systems business to focus on investing in the growth of Stewart Milne Homes across Scotland and north west England.
The housebuilder and manufacturer of timber frame for offsite construction revealed it is putting the business up for sale at a time when the market is set to grow ‘exponentially’.
Demand for timber frame is anticipated to double in the next five years to meet housing targets. Additionally, housebuilders looking to achieve net zero carbon targets and deal with skills shortages are increasingly turning to modern methods of construction.
Stewart Milne Timber Systems has current order book of close to £300 million. The £100 million turnover business employs 400 people.
Alex Goodfellow, Stewart Milne group MD – strategic development, who is leading the sale process, said, “With the scale of the opportunity in the growing timber frame market, SMTS presents a highly compelling investment proposition. We anticipate attracting a high level of interest from potential buyers who will invest in order to capitalise on that opportunity.”
Stewart Milne Group said it has been investing in SMTS’ product and manufacturing innovation and capacity at its factories in Aberdeen and Witney to keep up with the ‘extremely strong’ demand. Increased volumes have led to the creation of a third production facility in central Scotland.
Stewart Milne Group’s CEO, Stuart MacGregor, added, “To keep pace with demand, it’s clear that further investment in production capacity in both Scotland and England will be required. As a privately run, independent company, we need to prioritise where we invest in the future.
“Since reopening last summer, after the initial Covid lockdown, we’ve seen record levels of activity in the UK housing sector. The strength of our business with its award-winning developments, new homes range and record sales has enabled us to capitalise on these favourable market conditions and positioned us superbly for future growth.”
The ‘buoyancy’ of the current homes market, means that land prices are increasing rapidly, Mr MacGregor said,
“We have therefore chosen to divest our successful timber systems business to increase investment in additional sites for Stewart Milne Homes,” he added. “Using our considerable land buying experience to take advantage of the development opportunities, we will invest in land in the short term and concentrate on growing our homes business in the longer term.”