53 Jobs Saved as Builders’ Merchant Sold Out of Administration

A SOUTH WALES timber and builders merchants has been sold out of administration to Robert Price (Builders’ Merchants) Limited, securing the jobs of all 53 employees.

The majority of the business and assets of T.G. Howell & Sons Ltd, trading as Terry Howell Timber & Builders’ Merchants, has been sold in a pre-packaged sale. The deal was was overseen by joint administrators Huw Powell and Katrina Orum of Begbies Traynor in Cardiff, with marketing support provided by Gavel Auctioneers.

Family-owned since it was established in 1956, Terry Howell Timber and Builders’ Merchants started business manufacturing ladders. Over the years, it became one of the leading independent timber and builders’ merchants in South Wales, with branches in Newport and Pontypool. A five-acre wholesale distribution yard specialising in the treatment of timber was also established.

Builders Merchant Sold Out of Administration

While there has always been some level of volatility for those operating in the timber market, trading conditions became more unpredictable during the pandemic. Despite efforts to cut costs, the company was experiencing unsustainable losses which were mostly attributable to the wholesale business.

Under the terms of the sale, the two builders merchant stores will continue to trade, while the wholesale side of the business will close, though no employees have been made redundant.

Huw Powell, joint administrator, and Begbies Traynor Cardiff partner, said: “Terry Howell began to experience financial difficulties and volatile trading as a consequence of the pandemic. This was further exacerbated by a shift in the post-Covid market with margins falling away over the past 18 months.

“This is a bittersweet outcome for the directors and family, but the fact that they sought advice quickly has helped to secure a positive outcome for all of the company’s employees and we expect that creditors will share in a return that will exceed what is achieved in most insolvencies.”

As a family business with 29 branches across South Wales and Herefordshire, the sale to Robert Price has secured the future for the Terry Howell team.

William Godfrey, managing Director of Robert Price, said: “The branches will continue to trade under the Terry Howell brand in the short term, as we work to ensure a smooth and efficient integration into the Robert Price Group. Terry Howell customers will continue to receive the same great service they have experienced to date, and we hope they will take advantage of the additional benefits associated with the Robert Price group.”

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