Maximising The Modular Market

20th May, 2022

2021 was a pivotal year for Modular Group Investments Limited (MGI) that saw it become one of the fastest-growing players in modular construction, having acquired three businesses already. CEO Nick Cowley looks back over the year’s developments.

MGI was started by Michael Garratt – a young, passionate property developer who could see the enormous potential of modular construction. His aim was to bring together suppliers who serve the modular sector under the MGI umbrella, eventually offering everything a modular builder needs, exactly when they need it. To make that vision a reality, Michael was on the lookout for outstanding businesses with a track-record of success serving the modular market – or at least skills that would easily translate into modular.

It was that search that first led him to Euramax Solutions. I joined the business as Managing Director in 2019. Euramax Solutions Limited is a 70-year-old window and door manufacturer making 3,000 frames a week. It’s got a long and successful history in the holiday home market and continues to serve some of the sector’s major players, but I wanted to broaden its focus to include modular and the DIY market.

It wasn’t until early 2021 that I first crossed paths with Michael, and it immediately became clear that Euramax and MGI were an excellent fit. Euramax was already making windows and doors for modular manufacture and had capacity to do that much more.

There was also a lot of synergy between manufacturing for holiday homes, Euramax’s traditional strength, and doing so for modular housebuilders. Our conversations proved so positive that MGI didn’t just acquire Euramax, but I became MGI CEO, too.

Euramax gave MGI a solid foundation in modular thinking and our next acquisition was Rapid PVCU. Rapid is a 12-year-old PVCu fabricator in Doncaster, and acquiring them not only boosted our productive capacity, but also diversified our customer base. MGI doesn’t specialise in fenestration – we want to cover the whole spectrum of modular components and Rapid PVCU was another case where the synergies were too good to turn down. They’re able to provide a complete package for newbuild customers, including expert technical advice, input on minimising costs and help with design, as well as supply and installation on time and in full. We’ve since brought in industry veteran Simon Bingham as Rapid’s Commercial Director, and his experience will be a huge asset in helping that side of the business expand.

The third of 2021’ big acquisitions was Barton Windows. Barton Windows is a 35-year-old aluminium fabricator based in Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire. So, the most obvious thing that they bring to the table is the ability to cater to the aluminium side of the glazing market. Euramax could do that to some extent already – in fact we have launched Euralite, a range of cladding and decking products that combines all the benefits of aluminium with the sought-after aesthetics of timber. But Barton Windows expands that capacity even further, allowing us to better serve the needs of our customers.

Looking ahead into 2022, MGI will be continuing to seek out great new businesses that will help us expand our offering – our ideal acquisition is an experienced company operating some spare capacity that genuinely wants to sell. We’ll also be growing our range on the aluminium side, with the aim of adding balconies, steel components, and a range of other products commonly used throughout modular construction. It’s an extremely exciting time for us, and we can’t wait to see what the next twelve months holds.

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