About Heiton Buckley
The original Thomas Heiton came to Dublin in 1818, to work in the coal and iron business. His firm grew from strength to strength, and was incorporated in 1896. Because coal was so important to Dublin social and business life, Heitons had by then became a household name. However changes in the demand and acceptability of coal as a major fuel source in the middle part of this century meant the company had to adapt. As a result, over the following twenty five years the firm changed tack, and successfully re-established itself as a market leader in a completely different arena - builders’ merchants, steel, DIY and subsequently hire.
As Heitons sought to develop the Builders Merchants business after World War II, the Company initially created a nation-wide chain of wholesale supply centres. Heitons then sought to identify potential targets for acquisition to provide them with access to an established customer base, a complementary product range and opportunities to widen the downstream distribution of Heitons’ existing product lines.
The 1994 acquisition of the F & T Buckley Group from Harrisons & Crosfield plc, a UK public company, increased the Company’s sales by approximately one - third to £118.0 million (US$174.7 million). This acquisition proved to be a significant event in the history of Heitons. It’s strategic importance came from the fact that it propelled Heitons from the No. 2 position in the building materials market to No. 1 with a broad customer spread which embraced the heavy infrastructural projects (traditionally a strength of the Heitons business) to the house building sector (traditionally a Buckley stronghold). Further, the enlargement of the BM & S division’s branch network now ensured that customers were better serviced throughout the Republic.
Grafton Merchanting ROI acquired Heiton Buckley along with The Panelling Centre and 5 independent builders merchants in 2005.
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