City timber firm branches out thanks to £95k funding

HSBC's Jon Higginson with PETAL's new owners Ian Thomson and Helen Queen.
HSBC's Jon Higginson with PETAL's new owners Ian Thomson and Helen Queen.

Lancaster-based specialist timber trader Pacific European Timber Agency Limited (PETAL) has been bought out by its senior management team with the support of a funding package worth £95,000 from HSBC.

The independent business, established in 1988, was purchased by Ian Thomson, Timber Trader, and Helen Queen, Finance Director, after the former major shareholders decided to take a less active role and semi-retire.

The business operates throughout the Far East, USA, South America and Europe to select and procure timber for a wide range of clients.

The new owners of PETAL aim to follow an ambitious growth strategy. They plan to react to changes in the international timber market to capitalise on growing demand from UK customers by shifting PETAL’s import strategy putting more emphasis on North American and European Hardwoods whilst continuing to be a market leader from the Far East where the company has traded since its inception.

The business will also diversify its range of products, specifically to target the joinery market, as well as composites and softwoods. The business expects to increase its turnover by nine per cent over the next 12 months.