Cornwall Group acquires Forward Glass

Cornwall Group Forward Glass
Mark Mitchell, Cornwall Group’s chair

Cornwall Group has acquired Forward Glass in a transaction that was completed on 1 December. The company purchased 100% of the share capital of Forward Glass, which is to continue to trade under its own name.

“Forward Glass is a great fit for us,” said Mark Mitchell, Cornwall Group’s chair. “The business is very similar to our Bristol based company Mackenzie Glass, which we bought from Pilkington Glass in 2017. They are an independent, family-owned business, selling single toughened, processed glass and stock to the trade. Cornwall Group has also acquired the 100,000ft2 site.

“Forward Glass has a turnover in excess of £10m a year, employing over 100 people and, looking ahead, we have plans to broaden the offering. The Birmingham-based company has three toughening plants, which brings the total at Cornwall Group to eight.

“Forward’s typical customers are sealed unit manufacturers, traditional glass merchants and shop fitters. They are a successful business with a loyal customer base, and to them I would say it will be very much ‘business as usual’.”

The current joint managing directors of Mackenzie Glass, Matt Prowse and Mark Herbert, will handle the day-to-day running of the business, it was outlined.

Mark Weston Smith, Forward Glass’s former owner and managing director, who plans to retire, is the fifth generation of his family to operate in the glass industry.

Mark Weston Smith added: “For me and my family, Forward Glass represents more than a century of tradition and experience. I was keen to ensure the business was acquired by someone who shared our values. I believe Cornwall Group has a similar culture and the expertise and experience to manage the business and take it forward.”

Mark Mitchell continued: “Our plans for the future include investment in plant and machinery and the introduction of an apprenticeship programme. But, ultimately, the acquisition of Forward Glass will allow the Cornwall Group to step out from its traditional base in the South West and expand into new markets.”

For more information call 01726 66325, email or visit the company’s website.

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