Midlands Wood Fuel has today partnered with Okehampton-based Forest Fuels, under the ownership of AMP PLC.
The acquisition – which sees two of the UK’s largest, long-standing wood fuel distributors joining forces – is another huge step in consolidating the wood fuel supply chain, something Forest Fuels has been increasingly focusing on in recent years with the acquisition of many smaller businesses.
Forest Fuels supplies more than 1,100 customers with wood chip and wood pellet from its head-office in Okehampton, three regional offices and 20 depots across the UK. MWF is mainly a wood chip supplier, with 14 depots, covering an area that stretches from York down to Gloucester and Oxford, with more than 500 customers. MWF is a very well-regarded and long-established business, and was a finalist in the REA’s British Renewable Energy Awards this year.
Forest Fuels’ Managing Director Peter Solly, who joined the company when he invested in the business in 2010, said: “This acquisition is great news and represents a huge boost for the wood fuel supply chain. MWF and Forest Fuels’ depots fit together extremely well, and the strength of the combined staff team will enable us to offer exceptional quality and service to our customers.”
We have a clear strategy to grow Forest Fuels into the leading wood fuel business in the UK, and this latest acquisition is a key step towards that.
The purchase of MWF builds on Forest Fuels other acquisitions, which include recently purchasing Anglia Biofuels, Lakes Biomass and Liverpool Woodpellets’ commercial business. Forest Fuels currently turns over in excess of £9 million per annum, and Peter and his team have developed a clear strategy for further growth, aiming for a turnover of £20-30 million within a few years.
“The government’s Renewable Heat Incentive has resulted in many more biomass installation over the past five years and therefore a considerable growth in the wood fuel market,” added Peter. “Our model of bringing together smaller operators – and now a larger operator in MWF – allows us to retain local staff while using specialist local managers to look after local depots and customers. This is backed up by head office support and dedicated logistics, spreading the overheads of the increasingly complicated regulation, enabling the industry to stay profitable and therefore sustainable.”
In order to achieve this long-term sustainability, Forest Fuels was purchased by Aggregated Micro Power (AMP) PLC – the first PLC to enter the small-scale wood fuel industry – in March this year, providing substantial financial investment.
MWF’s Managing Director Mark Appleton said: “This is a natural fit. Joining forces with Forest Fuels makes us a formidable force with an unbeatable quality wood fuel supply chain spanning the whole of the UK.”