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Scottish merchant changes hands

The acquisition is the third in five years for family-run Cowal’s merchant group, which now has six sites and more than 60 employees in the West of Scotland. Its merchant group already included Reddance Building Supplies, which was acquired in 2017, and Catherwood Construction Materials – acquired in 2021 – along with depots in Dunoon, Rothesay and Balloch.

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

Stewart Shaw Jr, director at Cowal Building & Plumbing Supplies, 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.”

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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 said: “The John Cameron 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. I look forward to assisting with the integration of the two businesses.”

Both Cowal and Cameron’s are founding partners of the National Buying Group (NBG). NBG managing director Nick Oates said: “Networking and mutual support is a key part of the NBG way of working. 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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