Urban Splash buys SIG modular business for £1

Aaron Morby 6 years ago
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Building materials distribution giant SIG has sold its modular offsite construction business for £1 to regeneration specialist Urban Splash Modular.

Offsite facility at Alfreton in Derbyshire
Offsite facility at Alfreton in Derbyshire

Manchester-based Urban Splash originally made its name by acquiring unwanted Victorian mills and transforming them into apartments and offices for the creative industries.

It is now focused on modular housing and launched its offsite concept House last year.

The acquisition includes SIG’s modular factory in the East Midlands, all the IP and patents of its modular housing system and around 70 staff. 

Urban Splash has also announced architect and Channel 4 presenter George Clarke and North West tech entrepreneur and founder of WeBuyAnyCar.com, Noel McKee are new investors in Urban Splash’s modular operations.

Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham said: “Urban Splash is committed to expanding its offsite construction capacity and this purchase is a way to vertically integrate our business and give us control of the production of our Houses. It is a testament to our commitment to, and investment in, modular housing.”

The sale of the loss-making SIG Building Systems forms part of the new management team’s strategy to focus on core business.

After closing its bathroom pod Metechno operation last May, panelised room-in-roof manufacturer RoofSpace is now the only remaining offsite construction business at the group.

Building Systems reported sales of £9.2m in 2016 but suffered a £5.7m loss.  Assets worth £4.5m will be transferred in the sale.

SIG expects to book an exceptional charge in 2017 of nearly £8m relating to the divestment.

In addition to the sale of Building Systems, SIG sold GRM this month, a small manufacturer of phenolic pipe insulation serving  industrial and HVAC markets, to a subsidiary of Kingspan Group plc for an undisclosed sum.

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