BSW Timber is to acquire Southampton-based RF Giddings & Company in a strategic move to expand the Group’s UK network and increase capacity across the business.

BSW will formally take over the business on 1 August 2014, with plans to double sawn capacity at the mill to over 60,000 m3 over the next 12 months by introducing additional shifts.

This extra investment and increased production is set to secure existing employment as well as creating 10 new jobs at the New Forest site.

RF Giddings is a fourth generation sawmiller currently employing 30 people, specialising in the production of high-quality materials for the fencing, pallet and construction markets. The company has been based at its current site since 1942 and has built up a strong reputation and supply network - acknowledged as key factors in BSW’s decision to acquire the company.

BSW chief executive Tony Hackney said: “We have been working closely with RF Giddings for some time now and have been very impressed with both the set up on-site and the company’s supply network across the south of England. We now want to formalise the acquisition of the business which will provide the BSW Group with significant reach across the whole of the UK.

“The forests of southern England are at the heart of an untapped resource identified by the Independent Panel on Forestry and supported by the Grown in Britain campaign. As we grow the capacity on-site we look forward to building relationships with woodland owners and agents.”

He added: “BSW is maintaining the current exclusive marketing agreement of all sawn timber with Taylor Maxwell Timber. This will ensure continuity of supply to existing customers as well as allowing them to buy from other BSW sites across the UK.”

Lynda Glover, managing director at RF Giddings, said: “Since it was established in the 1890s, the business has enjoyed huge success across four generations of the Giddings family.

“This is the right time to hand over the reins to BSW Timber. The company is one of the most successful and respected businesses in the UK, and has a strong track record of committed investment across all of its UK sites, continually improving the quality of both its service and products. We are looking forward to seeing the sawmill thrive under this new leadership.”