Laing O’Rourke has acquired Glass Reinforced Concrete UK Ltd (GRCUK), a specialist in bespoke architectural glass reinforced concrete (GRC) products.
GRCUK employs 38 full-time staff at its facility in Dinnington, South Yorkshire. All staff will transfer with the acquisition and be retained in the business.
Established in 2009, GRCUK began by supplying the house-building sector with architectural components but has grown quickly from these roots to emerge as a top three GRC manufacturers and supplier to the UK construction industry. Its projects have included Building N13 at the Olympic Village site in East London.
GRCUK has risen on the back of rapid growth in demand for glass reinforced concrete on large construction projects by architects like Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid. At the same time, the traditional pre-cast concrete architectural cladding market has shrunk by 25%, Laing O’Rourke said.
Claimed benefits of GRC over traditional pre-cast concrete including reduction in dead load weight, more environmentally friendly to manufacture and transport, faster and easier to install, and greater design optionality.
Laing O’Rourke has sought to position itself as a leader in offsite construction and this acquisition adds to its manufacturing portfolio. Head of manufacturing Russell Kellett said: “The addition of GRCUK is a step forward in our Design for Manufacture & Assembly approach, giving Laing O’Rourke a well-structured and financed organisation that is positioned strongly in the UK market to secure a large proportion of the GRC-specified work currently being tendered and awarded.
“As an established business with a proven record, a good order book, fully-equipped factory with great transport links, and a committed workforce, I believe this acquisition will enable us to tap into new areas of the market to develop a lightweight cladding product. With the financial resources of the Laing O’Rourke Group behind it, there is considerable scope for increasing the profitability of the business through the significant operating synergies we see with our core construction and infrastructure delivery business units.”