Precast business sold by Laing O’Rourke

By Sandy Guthrie28 July 2017

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Forterra, a UK producer of building products, is to acquire the Bison structural precast and hollowcore business from Laing O’Rourke.

Forterra said it believed Bison would complement and enhance its own range of building components.

Laing O’Rourke CEO Ray O’Rourke said the growing residential, commercial and infrastructure demands for manufactured products made this “the right time for all parties to leverage their relationship”.

He said, “We acquired Bison at the height of the global financial crisis, saving hundreds of regional jobs and allowing the manufacturer’s rich history to continue.

“Now, this collaborative and future-focused deal will provide enhanced value to Laing O’Rourke, Bison and Forterra.”

In addition to the proposed transfer of ownership, staff and assets, the agreement will strike an exclusive partnership where Laing O’Rourke will continue to use Bison products on its projects.

The parties have also agreed to a continued sharing of innovation and product development. The companies plan to explore intelligent ways to use each other’s technology alongside their own.

O’Rourke said, “We will consult with all our hardworking people at Bison during this transition, confident it will mark an exciting next step for their growth, and our ongoing access to industry-leading specialist components.

“The leadership at Forterra has recognised the unique value created through Bison’s alignment with Laing O’Rourke’s manufacturing investment and delivery capability.”

He added, “This partnership is part of our commitment to build a more collaborative industry centred on high-quality, off-site modular construction.”

Bison Manufacturing was founded in 1919, and manufactures pre-cast concrete products ranging from hollowcore floor units, stairs and landings to structural pre-cast concrete building components.

Bison has been part of Laing O’Rourke’s manufacturing portfolio since 2008, with the company assuming full ownership in 2013.

Forterra logo

Forterra is a manufacturer of a diverse range of clay and concrete building products. It employs over 1,600 people across 17 facilities in the UK. It claims to be the second largest brick and aircrete block manufacturer in the country, and the only producer of the iconic London Brick.

With a heritage of more than 160 years, Laing O’Rourke is an internationally-focused engineering enterprise.

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