Roofing contractor Avonside has completed a management buyout, creating the country's only independent national player in the sector.
The buyout from the Avonside Group, was led by the managing director of Avonside Roofing, Tony Burke, and finance director Keith Kershaw. It was backed by AIB Commercial Finance. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

Burke hinted that the relative strength of the housebuilding sector made the buyout an attractive option. He said: "Demand for new housing in the UK still outstrips supply by anything up to 20%, and we anticipate strong orders well into 2004 and beyond."

Burke said that the sector faced a shortage of skilled roofers, and that the company was attempting to address the problem. He said: "As the UK's only independent national roofing contractor we have a serious duty to plan for the future. Our recruitment policy is beginning to pay dividends, and now one in 10 of our workforce is an apprentice roofer."

The contractor, based in Sandbach, Cheshire, has an annual turnover of £28m and employs 210 staff. It operates from 15 branches across the UK.

The decision to opt for a management buyout comes just over a month after the Avonside Group sold its plumbing, heating and electrical businesses in a separate buyout for £5m. Renamed Avonside Services Group, the new firm has an annual turnover of more than £35m and has a workforce of 400 people.

We anticipate strong orders for new housing well into 2004 and beyond

Avonside Roofing managing director Tony Burke