Elliott Baxter & Co has become the largest stockist of carton board in the British Isles following the acquisition of UniBoard in Dublin.
It provides a bridgehead into Ireland for commercial print sheets as well, says EBB managing director Matt Elliott. This will emerge over time, he adds.
In the meantime the united business will be focusing on working with its current suppliers. As separate companies the two dealt with many mills in common. “A big share of what we do comes from shared mills,” says Elliott. “But there is a couple that UniBoard has that we are not dealing with and a couple that they don’t have. So this is only positive.
“We will not be rushing into the commercial print market in Ireland. First we need to get a bigger premises and then see what the Irish market requires, that including people who understand the market.”
EBB has some business in Northern Ireland and is able to supply overnight. There is no reason why warehouses in the UK and Ireland should not be able to support each other he says. “We will be holding more board in stock than any other merchant in the UK and Ireland. And Dublin can serve the Northern Irish business more effectively.”
This amounts to more than 15,000 pallet positions for board and packaging products. Two companies have been talking for around a year. Myles and Sharon Fitzpatrick who have built the business over the last 21 years to sales of €16 million a year are staying in place to run the company.
Myles says: “The time is right to recognise what we have built, but at the same time join forces with someone who we believe could help us to grow into new areas within Ireland over the next few years.”
And Elliott concludes: “Since we first met it was obvious that our business styles were similar; the need for high levels of local stock combined with great distribution, an experienced and reputable sales force, backed up by efficient administration. We believe that we can not only strengthens UniBoard’s position in their local market, but this move also opens the door to allow us introduce and develop the EBB product range into the Irish market.”
By Gareth Ward
Sharon and Myles Fitzpatrick join Matt Elliott in welcoming EBBs move into Ireland, initially to pool resources on carton board stocks, but also to expand commercial print into Ireland over time.