fromtheeditor ALL CHANGE There has been some significant activity and movement in the industry this past month beginning with Eurocell finally ending speculation with the announcement of new owner, investment company H2 Equity Partners. You can read the full story below. Multisystems fabricator, Formes Alutek, has also acquired a new owner in the form of one of the North West’s largest window companies, LDG Group Ltd, helping to safeguard jobs on page 5. And at the time of going to print we had word from Ultraframe that it will close its Newton Abbot manufacturing facility at the end of this year. All of the production from the Devon-based plant, which exclusively produces the Quantal roof systems, will move to Ultraframe’s main production plant based in Clitheroe, which produces both Ultraframe and Wendland roof systems. Julian Slade, Ultraframe CEO explained that: “any decision directly affecting staff is difficult and we have given serious consideration to a range of options. However, we can best serve the Quantal brand and Quantal customers from Clitheroe. We want to send a clear message to our customers that this decision will positively impact both the Quantal roof and the overall offer available to them.” This month we also welcome a newcomer to the UK composite door market on page 42. Uniform Architectural is the UK subsidiary of Italian and European composite window specialist, Uniform and will be based in Bristol. TURNING A CORNER In his recent keynote speech, the Chancellor George Osborne declared that the economy is in the early stages of recovery, page 20. This is evidenced in reports from the NHBC that reports housebuilding levels are continuing to show improvement, with the knock on effect being the construction sector leading job market growth on page 15. Perhaps surprisingly then is the report from Trustmark on page 25, that homeowners are losing confidence in British tradespeople. Sadly this negative perception is as a result of the rogue traders portrayed in the media. However the majority of those surveyed did report having had only good experiences. Finally, congratulations to National Plastics celebrating 25 years in business as well as its highest sales to date this year. Becky Taylor, Editor. CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP Eurocell ended months of speculation by announcing its new owner as the £2.5billion investment company, H2 Equity Partners. The deal follows a lengthy process with several interested parties involved before H2 Equity Partners emerged as the preferred suitor over the past few weeks. Eurocell’s previous owner, the Brussels-based Tessenderlo Group, has embarked on a series of divestments and rationalisation programmes in recent years following a change in strategic direction. Eurocell has grown every year under Tessenderlo’s tenure and remains a profitable business, with a turnover of £150million and employing around 950 people throughout the UK. The derbyshire-based PVC-U extruder has a network of 125-plus branches nationwide and stands to gain from H2 Equity Partners’ expertise in distribution businesses. H2’s portfolio of companies includes several European manufacturing and distribution businesses, plus the Unipart car parts brand in the UK. Eurocell already has trading relationships with H2 group companies. Patrick Bateman, CEO of Eurocell, declared, “I’m delighted that we will be working with H2 Equity Partners to continue our business growth. I believe there are some excellent synergies between us in terms of our ambitions, beliefs and approach to business.” Eurocell will remain as an autonomous business and will implement the existing five-year business plan, which includes investing in more service improvements, developing more new produ ????][???\?B??^L?[??[??[?[??[?B??]???[??\??]?X??YY8?'?\???[Z]Y[???[[???\??\??Y\????Z\??\?[?\??\??[[??????[??K??x?&]?H????YH^?][???[???][??[??Y?\?H?^?L?[???X??[??YB?]\???[?\??Y\???]?Y?Y?X?[????\]]]?HY?[?Y?K??'B???[?H[???X][??[?N? K[XZ[??\??]\???[????Z???\?]???]\???[???Z???????X\??Y]?]Z???B??????L????XY[?K?\?]????X\??Y]?]Z???B??