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James Jones UK takes majority share of Hyne Group

James Hyne

The Hyne Group has announced a partnership with UK-based James Jones & Sons Limited bringing together a combined 320 years of family-owned sawmilling heritage to pursue growth opportunities. Source: Timberbiz

Under the terms of the partnership James Jones & Sons Limited holds the majority interest, almost 60% with more than 40% being retained by the Hyne Group’s existing shareholders, including the Hyne family. JJSL has been involved in similar, successful partnerships in the past, including a 25-year joint venture and ownership of Stella-Jones Inc in North America.

The partnership has secured Foreign Investment Review Board approval and all other regulatory approvals.

James Jones & Sons Ltd is the UK’s most diversified, family-owned timber processor with annual sales in excess of £330 million.

It operates from 27 sites across the UK and employs more than 1220 people.

JJSL traces its history back 180 years and five generations and is today recognised as one of the most innovative and efficient timber producers in Europe, with seven mills across the UK.

Fifth generation Hyne, James Hyne said this is yet another significant milestone in Hyne Timber’s 140 years of growth.

“With this exciting partnership, we are bringing together two multi-generational family-owned and operated companies with a shared commitment to world-class product quality, service, safety, innovation and sustainability,” he said.

“The partnership will concentrate on identifying and developing growth opportunities in our region and beyond.

“The JJSL Chair, Tom Bruce-Jones, is also now the Chair of our Hyne Group Board, who we welcome with his extensive experience in our industry at a global level.”

Mr Bruce-Jones said the partnership provided a strong platform for further consolidation and growth in Australia and New Zealand.

“We choose our partners very carefully and in the Hyne Group we have found a culture of integrity and excellence that mirrors our own,” he said.

“In an increasingly corporate and private equity dominated industry, we believe that family culture and values not only provide differentiation but are a key competitive advantage. Together, we believe there are enormous opportunities to use our combined know-how, experience and financial strength to grow the business by delivering even better products and services.”

The Hyne Group CEO, Jon Kleinschmidt confirmed there were no plans for any changes to the Hyne Timber and XLam brands,

“It is business as usual for the Hyne Group operations with no changes to the company’s team members, customers, suppliers and our ongoing commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate,” he said.

“This is an exciting new chapter in our 140-year journey, and I look forward to working with the new board and shareholders as we focus on new growth opportunities moving forward.”

A statement released this morning by Hyne said that JJSL first became aware of Hyne Group in October 2020 and approached the Board to determine whether there might be any opportunity to discuss strategic options.

“It quickly became apparent that the two companies were very similar culturally and philosophically and were almost identical in terms of sawn output and market share in their respective markets,” the statement said.

“JJSL shares the same Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) vision as the Hyne Group and believes the global focus on climate change and ESG will provide impetus to the forestry sector.”