Terrafirma on solid ground after takeover by US company

Herald Series: From left, managing director of Terrafirma, Hugh Robertson, with transport supervisor, Emma Hickmott, operations director, Allen Jolley and office manager, Adrian Rubey with Dura-Base used to make temporary roads.  Picture: OX64591 Damian Halliwell Buy this photo » From left, managing director of Terrafirma, Hugh Robertson, with transport supervisor, Emma Hickmott, operations director, Allen Jolley and office manager, Adrian Rubey with Dura-Base used to make temporary roads. Picture: OX64591 Damian Halliwell

MAJOR expansion plans are in place after an Oxfordshire firm was bought out by its key supplier.

Terrafirma Roadways based in Steventon, near Abingdon, is looking for major growth in the next year and will recruit 10 more staff after agreeing to the takeover by United States firm Newpark Mats and Integrated Services.

The business, which supplies temporary roadways to building sites and major events such as festivals, was set up by Hugh Robertson in 2001 and he started supplying the Dura-Base composite plastic mat, which was supplied by Newpark, in 2006.

He said: “The takeover was always on the cards as we have always had a good relationship with them.

“They wanted to buy the market from ourselves because they want to expand in the UK and already they are about to ship a further 4,000 additional mats here.”

Terrafirma has seen its annual turnover grow from £2m to £6m in the last three years and Mr Robertson is looking to grow that to £8m this year.

Newpark Mats and Integrated Services is a division of Houston-based Newpark Resources which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company is looking to expand rapidly following a £25m investment at its Louisiana manufacturing plant.

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President Jeff Juergens said: “This acquisition represents the natural culmination of what was already a longstanding and mutually beneficial partnership between our two companies.

“TFR’s team members’ professionalism and dedication is a perfect reflection of our own corporate culture.”

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