Ballymena cabinet-maker Woodland in key acquisition of Dundee rival

Deal to buy JTC Furniture is backed by growth capital investor BGF

Woodland Kitchens
Announcing the Woodland Kitchens' acquisition of JTC Furniture are (from left) Gordon Linton (managing director of JTC), Connor McCloskey (chief executive at Woodland NI) and Chris Nixon (investor at BGF in Belfast) (Chris Scott)

Woodland Kitchens, a prominent manufacturer and supplier of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture, has agreed a deal to acquire Dundee headquartered JTC Furniture Group in a transaction backed by investment from growth capital investor BGF.

Founded by Brian McCloskey in 1987 as a kitchen showroom operation in Ballymena, Woodland is currently led by his son Connor.

One of the leading kitchen, bedroom & bathroom cabinet suppliers in the north with a long-term track record of growth, its latest set of published accounts showed it has a turnover of £22.2 million and a staff of 157 operating from its state of the art facility in Rasharkin.

JTC is a manufacturer and supplier of fitted furniture, focused on the social housing and student accommodation markets and employing over 250 people in the Dundee area.

It is seen as being a highly complementary acquisition for Woodland, with the partnership creating one of the largest cabinet producers in the UK.

The acquisition will allow both Woodland and JTC to capitalise on the benefit of the group’s new found scale to continue to enhance its product range and service levels to their respective customer bases.

JTC’s existing senior management team is remaining with the newly combined business and will continue to lead implementation of its ambitious growth plans. The combined business will have turnover in excess of £50m.

BGF have introduced Marcus Moir to the business as non-executive chairman, bringing with him a wealth of relevant industry experience in the home improvement space.

BGF is one of the largest and most experienced growth capital investors in the UK and Ireland, backing entrepreneurs and innovators. It has completed a multi-million-pound investment in the new Woodland Group for a minority stake in the business, which will be used to fund the acquisition and support future growth.

Woodland chief executive Connor McCloskey said: “Woodland has enjoyed strong organic growth in recent years but we have kept one eye on strategic, additive acquisition opportunities. The partnership with JTC was a move that made perfect sense in terms of scale, common values, capabilities and level of ambition.

Woodland Kitchens' headquarters in Rasharkin
Woodland Kitchens' headquarters in Rasharkin

“JTC’s strong presence and long-standing customer base in the social housing, healthcare and student housing sectors, combined with Woodland’s own strengths in the distribution and large retail space, will allow both businesses to share best practice and take a collaborative approach to further growth. We look forward to working with the team in Dundee.”

Chris Nixon, investor at BGF in Belfast, said: “Woodland and JTC are both established names in the kitchen furniture industry and by combining the team’s knowledge of the market and complementary customer base we believe there is high potential for growth. We are excited to join the Woodland team as a minority investor as they embark on this expansion.”

HNH Group and Tughans advised Woodland NI while Thorntons advised JTC and HNH Group and A&L Goodbody advised BGF.