Two of the country’s most successful and long established timbers processing companies have merged.
The two County Cork companies, the Grainger Group originally founded by William Grainger, based in Enniskeane, and Palfab Group of Lissarda will trade as GP Wood and will be one of Ireland’s largest most diversified timber processing operations.
GP Wood will have a capital value in excess of €25 million and a turnover of €49 million with exports of €24 Million. GP Wood will invest €5 million in a range of initiatives including product enhancements.
Both companies were established in 1977 and together employ some 151 staff with a further 242 indirect employees in their forestry operations.
Timber manufacturing focused on the construction, fencing, garden leisure and packaging markets. The Grainger Group operates one of Ireland’s largest and most technologically advanced sawmills with state of the art facilities for Kiln Drying, Machining and Timber Treatment. In 2005, the Group constructed Irelands first large scale commercial biomass CHP plant which was designed around the sawmill’s requirements. The plant produces 2.5 MW of electricity which is sold to the national grid, and 6 MW of thermal energy.
In addition to producing its own sawn products, Palfab also imports part-processed timber from Scandinavia, Russia, the Baltic States and mainland Europe. The company has diversified into added value markets through their joint venture investment in Eirebloc and Palfab director’s investment in Cygnum, one of Ireland’s leading and innovative timber frame manufacturers.
The merger of two equals comes about after comprehensive integration planning in recent months. “I am hugely excited about the opportunities that this merger opens up”, says Niall Grainger, managing director of GP Wood. “The benefits will include an enhanced product range, enhanced service to customers, improvements in capacity utilisation and more efficient use of logistics. Over the past thirty years, both companies have proven themselves to be highly innovative and our shared skills and expertise will drive GP Wood towards growth and development.”
Donal O’Callaghan, Director for GP Wood said from the onset it was very clear how complementary both companies were to each other and that the combination of the two existing management teams will create a much diversified knowledge base of the wood processing industry leading to increased opportunities to grow the business. “It was apparent to both of us that the potential of this combination is clear and compelling. It is remarkable that two long established timber processors operating within a short distance of each other have largely been serving different market niches with minimal customer overlap. The direction of development taken by each company independently in the past is going to provide the means by which the merged company can achieve its ambition of adding value to a major Irish national resource. Allied to this, our location in the South West of Ireland is a strategic advantage in the light of the significant volumes of private forest due to come on stream in the very near future.” Mr. O’Callaghan said.
The Directors of GP Wood will be Niall Grainger, Susan Grainger, Donal O’Callaghan and Gerard O’Callaghan who all have wide-ranging experience in the timber processing sector. The existing Palfab Director John O’Callaghan has opted to retire.