Propaganda with BSW Group


BSW Timber is a timber sawmilling company bought by PE fund Endless LLP.

Post investment, BSW had acquired five businesses in the timber supply chain creating the UK’s biggest vertically integrated ‘seed-to-sawn’ forestry group.

BSW briefed Propaganda to author a brand strategy that would see it recognised as “the most innovative, technologically advanced, and sustainable timber business in the UK” – leveraging group capability to create value and drive a premium multiple at exit in c.3-4 years’ time.

Propaganda recommended a consultancy programme involving colleagues and clients across the Group, ensuring recommendations were based on knowledge, not assumption.

Through the programme Propaganda identified two significant issues:

  • A rapid succession of acquisitions had led to disconnection, with group businesses lacking integration or understanding of each other.
  • A market perception that the acquisitions were solely an attempt to increase margin by extracting rather than adding value.

Propaganda challenged the current strategy, recommending BSW reposition as a ‘circular family’ of experts, creating a Group entity and retaining and invigorating the individual Group brands.

Propaganda also defined necessary investments in innovation and education. These initiatives improved staff unity and demonstrated the business was engaged in the creation of a sustainable and resilient supply chain in a commodity driven market.

The strategic shift from ‘seed to sawn’ to ‘a circle of experts’ set BSW on course for accelerated and sustainable growth. BSW realised their exit ambitions in Oct 2021, three years ahead of schedule, delivering Endless LLP’s biggest ever return.


Quantified value

  • Group revenue increased from £350m Feb’20 – to £655m at Endless’ exit – to c.£900m Jan’23.
  • Employees increased from 2000 in Feb’20 – to 2500 at Endless’ exit – to 3050 Jan’23.
  • Endless achieved their biggest ever return, winning Insider Media’s International & National Deal of the Year.

Sector-leading education

  • BSW Group invested in training c.1,000 staff at partner builder’s merchants in understanding the timber supply chain and the value it provides.

Multiple industry accolades

  • A refreshed approach helped BSW to win 19 industry awards, including Jewson’s Best Overall Supplier of the Year.

Internal collaboration successes

  • BSW Group won the biggest ever harvesting contract with Forestry Scotland after a collaborative tender involving Maelor, Tilhill, and Dick Brothers presented the enhanced value that a joint approach offered.

Innovation investment

  • Maelor deployed £4.5m in investment to develop new technology to improve the consistency of seedling planting, reducing waste and improving tree strength over the lifetime.

Internal interdependency

  • There is now a culture of collaboration and respect amongst Group businesses, with representatives frequently attending each other’s meetings.
  • Raising the prominence of other businesses within the Group has meant BSW Timber no longer see the others as internal suppliers, but equal partners.

Revitalised external goodwill and education

  • Group brands now work together on social outreach projects for the community and clients on schemes to increase overall woodland creation. A scheme for key supplier Covers Timber Merchant is a recent example.
  • Improved external perception

View the Propaganda profile in the MCA Members Directory.