FR Cathcart Ltd, which has successfully operated as a family business since 1972, is widely regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s leading independent suppliers of building materials.
The acquisition offers a strategic opportunity for the Newry-based Murdock group to extend its reach across Northern Ireland where it already has nine branches, as well as two outlets in Dublin. The move will also enable Murdock’s to enhance its service levels across the west of the province by providing its customers in the border counties with a local collection and delivery point.
Twelve existing members of FR Cathcart staff are transferring over to Murdock’s as part of the acquisition agreement, joining the company’s 300-strong workforce.
Ann Morgan, Murdock’s CEO, said, “This investment offers new challenges and positive opportunities for all of our customers and staff. We feel privileged to bring such a well-respected, family-owned company as FR Cathcart Ltd into the Murdock Builders Merchants Group and are grateful to Richard and Roisin Cathcart for all their assistance and co-operation through the acquisition process.
“With the deal complete, we look forward to working with the team at the Enniskillen branch and in particular to building upon their previous success.”
Richard Cathcart also commented, “The Cathcart family is confident that this is the right time to hand over the reins of the merchanting division of FR Cathcart Ltd to Murdock Builder’s Merchants.
“We are extremely proud of the business that we have built up since 1972 and the wonderful staff relationships that have been developed over those years. Looking to the future, our priority was to take the business to the next level, so it was vital that we found an independently-owned and progressively-minded company such as Murdock’s to take over our merchanting division.
“We wish all our employees and our customers continued success with Murdock’s and thank them for their loyalty and friendship over the past years.”
While the ownership has changed, the FR Cathcart name will remain in place for the foreseeable future. The majority of staff have also remained in place as well, with new Sales Manager, Pearse Gildernew and Operations Manager, Barry McKenna, joining the well-established FR Cathcart team from Murdock’s Dungannon branch.
“We have tried to ensure, as much as possible, that it is business as usual with a view to improving all aspects of the business as we move forward,” said Pearse. “We have been really well received by the loyal customer base and the staff have responded very positively, which has made the transition period run very smoothly.
“Both Murdock’s and Cathcart’s are very similar, and we are looking forward to building from what is a very solid base. We’re competitive on price and place a strong emphasis on service. Being able to tap into the resources of the wider Murdock’s network will only benefit Cathcart customers.”