Bison Manufacturing


Forterra, one of the UK’s largest producers of building products, will acquire the structural precast and hollowcore business Bison from Laing O’Rourke.

Recently listed on the London Stock Exchange, Forterra has recognised the innovation and engineering capacity of Bison, which it believes will complement and enhance its own range of building components.

Laing O’Rourke CEO Ray O’Rourke said the growing residential, commercial and infrastructure demands for manufactured products made this the right time for all parties to leverage their relationship.

“We acquired Bison at the height of the global financial crisis, saving hundreds of regional jobs and allowing the manufacturer’s rich history to continue," Mr O’Rourke said.

"Now, this collaborative and future-focussed deal will provide enhanced value to Laing O’Rourke, Bison and Forterra.”

In addition to the proposed transfer of ownership, staff and assets, the agreement will strike an exclusive partnership where Laing O’Rourke will continue to deploy Bison products on its projects. The parties have also agreed to a continued sharing of innovation and product development.

They will explore intelligent ways to use each other’s technology alongside their own.

“We will consult with all our hardworking people at Bison during this transition, confident it will mark an exciting next step for their growth, and our ongoing access to industry-leading specialist components.

“The leadership at Forterra has recognised the unique value created through Bison’s alignment with Laing O'Rourke’s manufacturing investment and delivery capability.

“This partnership is part of our commitment to build a more collaborative industry centred on high-quality, off-site modular construction," Ray O’Rourke said.

There will be no impact on current trading, orders or operations at Bison as the deal progresses.

About the parties:


Bison Manufacturing Limited manufactures and sells precast concrete products for the construction industry. Founded in 1919, Bison manufactures pre-cast concrete products ranging from hollowcore floor units, stairs & landings to structural pre-cast concrete building components. Bison has been part of Laing O’Rourke’s manufacturing portfolio since 2008, assuming full ownership in 2013.


Forterra is a leading manufacturer of a diverse range of clay and concrete building products, used extensively within the construction sector, and employs over 1,600 people across 17 facilities in the UK. It is the second largest brick and aircrete block manufacturer in the country, and the only producer of the iconic London Brick. Other trusted brands from Forterra include Thermalite, Conbloc, Ecostock, Butterley, Cradley, Red Bank, Jetfloor and Formpave.

Laing O’Rourke

With a heritage spanning over 160 years, Laing O’Rourke is an internationally-focused engineering enterprise with world-class capabilities. With operations in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, North America and South East Asia, we fund, design, manufacture, construct and maintain the built environment, operating an integrated business model comprising the full range of engineering, construction and asset management services and delivering for some of the world's most prestigious public and private organisations.