MGI: taking the modular market by storm
2021 was a pivotal year for Modular Group Investments Limited (MGI). Twelve months ago, few people knew it existed. Today, it’s one of the fastest-growing players in modular construction, having acquired three businesses already, and with major plans for expansion throughout 2022. CEO Nick Cowley looks back over the year’s developments, and discusses what lies ahead for MGI.
The growth for MGI in 2021
Nick, help us set the scene. What state was MGI in at the start of 2021?
“MGI was started by Michael Garratt, a young, passionate property developer who could see the enormous potential of modular construction.
His aim was to bring together suppliers who serve the modular sector under the MGI umbrella, eventually offering everything a modular builder needs, exactly when they need it.
To make that vision a reality, Michael was on the lookout for outstanding businesses with a track-record of success serving the modular market – or at least skills that would easily translate into modular.
It was that search that first led him to Euramax Solutions, which is where I enter the story.”
What Euramax brings to MGI
Tell us about what Euramax brings to MGI, and your own involvement in both businesses.
“Euramax Solutions Limited is a 70 year-old window and door manufacturer making 3,000 frames a week.
It’s got a long and successful history in the holiday home market, and continues to serve some of the sector’s major players.
I joined the business as Managing Director in 2019, and set about broadening its focus to include modular and the DIY market.
It wasn’t until early 2021 that I first crossed paths with Michael, and it immediately became clear that Euramax and MGI were an excellent fit.
Euramax was already making windows and doors for modular, and had capacity to do that much more.
There was also a lot of synergy between manufacturing for holiday homes, Euramax’s traditional strength, and doing so for modular housebuilders.
Our conversations proved so positive that MGI didn’t just acquire Euramax, but I became MGI’s CEO, too.
Euramax gave MGI a solid foundation in Modular
What did your next acquisition, Rapid PVCU, bring to the table?
“Rapid is a 12 year-old PVCu fabricator in Doncaster, and acquiring them not only boosted our productive capacity, but also diversified our customer base.
MGI doesn’t specialise in fenestration, as I’ve said, we want to cover the whole spectrum of modular components. However, Rapid was another case where the synergies were too good to turn down.
They’re able to provide a complete package for new-build customers, including expert technical advice, input on minimising costs and help with design, as well as supply and installation on time and in full.
We’ve since brought in industry veteran Simon Bingham as Rapid’s Commercial Director, and his experience will be a huge asset in helping that side of the business expand.
Barton Windows, the third big acquisition of 2021
The third of the year’s big acquisitions was Barton Windows. Tell us more.
Barton Windows is a 35-year-old aluminium fabricator based in Barton-upon-Humber North Lincolnshire – and so the most obvious thing they bring to the table is the ability to cater to the aluminium side of the glazing market.
Euramax could do that to some extent already – in fact, this year we launched Euralite, a range of cladding and decking products that combines all the benefits of aluminium with the sought-after aesthetics of timber.
But Barton expands that capacity even further, allowing us to better serve the needs of our customers.
What does 2022 hold for MGI?
We’ll be continuing to seek out great new businesses that will help us expand our offering – our ideal acquisition is an experienced company operating some spare capacity that genuinely wants to sell.
We’ll also be growing our range on the aluminium side, with the aim of adding balconies, steel components, and a range of other products commonly used throughout modular.
It’s an extremely exciting time for us, and we can’t wait to see what the next twelve months holds.