Belfast Telegraph

MJM Group acquires glass firm as its eyes expansion

James and Joanne O’ Kane with Brian McConville, his son Conleth and daughter Naoimh
James and Joanne O’ Kane with Brian McConville, his son Conleth and daughter Naoimh
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Family company MJM Group has announced the multi-million pound takeover of a Co Antrim glass business that started out as a hobby for a design teacher.

The Newry company, which specialises in marine fit-out and is owned and operated by the McConville family, described the takeover of Topglass in Toomebridge as a "strategic" acquisition.

Topglass specialises in architectural and specialist glass, supplying commercial and domestic clients in the UK and Europe.

Customers include retailers, hotel chains, airports, schools and hospitals.

As part of the deal, its 30 staff will remain at the Toomebridge HQ, and MJM has said it hopes to boost staff numbers and expand the business.

Topglass was set up in 1984 by then-technology and design teacher James O'Kane. He turned his interest into a full-time enterprise in 1992.

It's now one of Ireland's top glass companies, with project growth of 30% in the financial year 2017 to 2018.

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Mr O'Kane said: "Topglass started as a hobby for me due to my love of high-end glass design and it has continued to grow year on year from there.

"We have spent the last number of years building Topglass into a first-class business and I now want to take time to pursue my other business interests.

"I want to thank the fantastic team in Topglass for their work, their loyalty and indeed their support during this difficult decision-making process."

He said he believed MJM Group was the "perfect partner" to help the company's continued growth.

"I am delighted that the McConville family are taking over the business and I have every faith in their ability to deliver," he added.

The McConville family also owns specialist joinery firm Mivan, as well as retail, commerical, aviation and residential developments.

Its retail arm includes Damolly Retail Park in Newry, while it also acquired the former Ministry of Defence land at Ballykelly, where it hopes to operate a Heathrow hub.

Mr O'Kane said his firm had long been a supplier to MJM Group and Mivan. "I know Brian and his family will offer Topglass customers, suppliers and staff new opportunities and new ideas as well as building on and retaining the family ethos we have worked so hard to maintain over the past 26 years."

Brian McConville, the founder and chairman of MJM Group, said: "We have an existing relationship with Topglass which goes back many years. There are real synergies between Topglass and the other businesses in the group and we know that we can bring long-term sustainable growth to the business for many years to come.

"There is a great team in place and we look forward to getting to work with Topglass employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders in the days and weeks ahead."

Mr O'Kane will remain as a part-time consultant to support the transition to new ownership.

Belfast Telegraph