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Need help? Talk to fellow stone specialist Grants

14 April 2020
Lee O'Connor

Lee O'Connor, CEO of Grants of Shoreditch, offers a helping hand to stone companies in difficulties.

The Grants Group, which includes Grants of Shoreditch, one of the country's major contractors specialising in stone, reminds stone companies of an offer it has made to help stone companies in difficulties.

With the Covid-19 shutdown the future can look uncertain, but Grants is renewing the offer it first made two-and-a-half years ago to help out other companies in the stone industry (read the original offer here).

The original offer came after Grants had rescued quarry company Blockstone, enabling it to continue production from its eight quarries. The London-based Grants Group already operated the 166-acre Cadeby Quarry in South Yorkshire, which includes Grants Precast.

Its offer to help other stone companies was extended to masonry companies and contractors, as well as quarry operators. The offer involves investing in them in return for equity or, if the right opportunities present themselves, to take them over completely.

Lee O’Connor, Grants CEO, explained the motivation for the move. “Our belief is that the UK stone industry requires a greater level of consolidation in order to nurture an environment where quality and certainty have priority in the decision making process. If the industry continues to allow price to drive the process then achieving sustainable success will be an ever greater challenge.”

As rhetoric rarely nurtures change, Grants is not simply talking about a view of the industry but is actively working to shape it, hence its willingness to invest in or make acquisitions of companies in the sector in which it works.

Along with an injection of cash would come the business expertise that Grants can offer.

Lee: “It’s difficult for a business to access supporting knowledge and experience. Where would you go to obtain it? It’s certainly not available from a bank or from any business development initiatives that I’m aware of. It might be possible to access some form of grant or loan, but it is management support that is often what’s missing.

“Banks generally all operate under very similar modus operandi – and it is certainly a lot more challenging now than it used to be. What they demand in terms of financial reporting can place a crippling administrative burden on a business. And they can change their minds very rapidly about their exposure to a sector such as construction, especially if the economic indicators for growth in that sector are not great or (that dreaded word) ‘recession’ starts appearing daily in the media and frightens the financial institutions into protectionary action."

If you would like to explore the possibility of Grants assisting you in your business, send an email in the first instance with a few details of your circumstances to Hannah Wilson at: [email protected]

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