finance

Cowal goes for growth with Cameron’s acquisition



Cowal Building and Plumbing Supplies has completed its third major acquisition in five years by adding John Cameron Plumbers and Builders Merchants to its merchant group.

This group already includes Reddance Building Supplies – acquired in 2017 – and Catherwood Construction Materials – acquired in 2021 – along with the three Cowal depots in Dunoon, Rothesay and Balloch.

The trading name of John Cameron’s will be retained and the management team at the Cameron’s Kinning Parkway Industrial Estate site in Glasgow will remain with the business.

Both Cowal and Cameron’s are founding partners of the National Buying Group (NBG).

The acquisition makes family-run Cowal one of the largest general merchants in the West of Scotland, with six sites and more than 60 employees.

Stewart Shaw Jr, director at Cowal, said: “We have competed against Cameron’s for many years and have always admired their way of doing business, the quality of their people and commitment to their customers – they share our values, and we are confident that this acquisition will help drive both businesses forward and offer new opportunities to all our employees.”

He continued: “Our intention is to add a further two or three merchants to our group within the next few years.

“Our goal is to develop a self-sustaining business with strong management teams, whilst retaining the family values and closeness to our local communities that sets us apart.”

John Cameron commented: “Our business has been in existence for more than 100 years, built up by myself, my father and my grandfather.

“It is never an easy decision to sell, but it was made easier by the relationship we have with both Stewart and his brother Steven, and the knowledge that our people and our customers are in good hands.”

NBG managing director Nick Oates added: “This deal demonstrates that NBG Partners can help each other and provide an alternative exit strategy for business owners who care about the future of their business, their employees and their customers.”

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