Begbies Traynor Group

53 Jobs saved as South Wales based Terry Howell Timber and Builders Merchants sold out of administration

Date Published: 15/02/2024

The majority of the business and assets of T.G. Howell & Sons Limited, trading as Terry Howell Timber & Builders’ Merchants, has been sold out of administration to Robert Price (Builders’ Merchants) Limited, securing the jobs of all 53 employees.

The pre-packaged sale was overseen by joint administrators Huw Powell and Katrina Orum of Begbies Traynor in Cardiff, with marketing support provided by Gavel Auctioneers.

Family-owned since it was established in 1956, Terry Howell Timber and Builders’ Merchants started business manufacturing ladders. Over the years, it became one of the leading independent timber and builders’ merchants in South Wales, with branches in Newport and Pontypool. A five-acre wholesale distribution yard specialising in the treatment of timber was also established.

While there has always been some level of volatility for those operating in the timber market, trading conditions became more unpredictable during the pandemic. Despite efforts to cut costs, the company was experiencing unsustainable losses which were mostly attributable to the wholesale business.

Under the terms of the sale, the two builders merchant stores will continue to trade, while the wholesale side of the business will close, though no employees have been made redundant.

Commenting on the sale, Huw Powell, joint administrator, and partner at Begbies Traynor in Cardiff, said:

“Terry Howell began to experience financial difficulties and volatile trading as a consequence of the pandemic. This was further exacerbated by a shift in the post-Covid market with margins falling away over the past 18 months.

“This is a bittersweet outcome for the directors and family, but the fact that they sought advice quickly has helped to secure a positive outcome for all of the company’s employees and we expect that creditors will share in a return that will exceed what is achieved in most insolvencies. 

“I would like to thank the directors and management team at Terry Howell, the team at Robert Price and all of the advisers involved in the transaction for their hard work in achieving this outcome. As a family business with 29 branches across South Wales and Herefordshire, Robert Price represents a very positive opportunity for the Terry Howell team.”

William Godfrey, managing director of Robert Price, said:

“The branches will continue to trade under the Terry Howell brand in the short term, as we work to ensure a smooth and efficient integration into the Robert Price Group. Terry Howell customers will continue to receive the same great service they have experienced to date, and we hope they will take advantage of the additional benefits associated with the Robert Price group.”

The administrators were advised by Paul Caldicott and team at Blake Morgan and by Thomas and Gerald Cole of Gavel Auctioneers. Robert Price was advised by Gerallt Jones and team at Hugh James, and Paul Byett at UHY Hacker Young. 

About The Author

Meet the Team

Huw is a chartered certified accountant with more than 20 years' experience working with businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties.

His impressive network of contacts and relationships with key stakeholders - from lenders and creditors to turnaround specialists – is key in strengthening Begbies Traynor's presence in Wales.

Huw's track record of success within insolvency speaks for itself and he is a major asset within the strong Cardiff setup, which has a combined total of more than 200 years' experience of recovery and rescue work.

Contact Begbies Traynor Group

Have you been in contact previously
Key Contact

You're in Safe Hands

  • 35+ Years Experience
  • 100+ UK Offices
  • 70+ Group Partners
  • £100m Funding Completed

News Archive