Rugby buys Dutch companies for 10.3m pounds

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The Independent Online
RUGBY Group's increasingly expansionist strategy was underlined yesterday with the purchase of holding companies operating joinery businesses in the Netherlands, writes Russell Hotten.

The cash-rich building materials company has paid pounds 10.3m for the businesses and will take on pounds 15.2m of borrowings. In September Rugby's Dutch joinery interests were increased with the acquisition of Kuin van Stam, a window manufacturer, from BET for pounds 1.3m.

Mike Sharp, chief executive of Rugby's joinery and glass group, said: 'We have come through the recession strongly and feel we can now take a more expansive approach.' Rugby was looking at a lot of potential acquisitions, he said.

The new purchase brings Rugby's share of the Dutch windows and doors market to more than 20 per cent. 'It has been a policy to grow in Holland and Germany. We are quite strong in Holland already. It is a stable market and we have a strong position.' He said the price of acquisitions in the UK was high, and it was easier to find cheaper quality companies on the Continent.

The new businesses are Heerlen Windows, Kegro Doors and Van Bruchem Doors, with a combined net asset value of pounds 3.5m. In the six months ending June they made pre-tax profits of pounds 1m on turnover of pounds 14m.

Rugby's Continental joinery businesses, including De Vries in the Netherlands and GE- KA in Germany, now have an annual turnover of pounds 90m.