|Description||Building Materials Division was established on 5 September 1978. The headquarters were in Bournemouth. The Overseas Building Materials Department was the focal point in Britain for the Group's overseas interests in the marketing and export supply of specialist building materials. The Department provided buying and technical services and other support facilities for associated businesses in West Africa and elsewhere and also conducted its own export marketing operations. (The Overseas Building Materials Department was originally called, or was linked to, Gottschalck Building Materials, a division of UAC of Nigeria Ltd. It came under the Industrial Services Division from 25 July 1983.) The British interests were conducted through Kennedy's (Builders' Merchants), Ltd (bought by Unilever in January 1974) which also had its headquarters in Bournemouth. This company had substantial businesses in building and plumbing materials, scaffolding, electrical wholesaling and garden centres, as follows:|
Kennedy's Builders' Merchants Division: building and plumbing materials, branches mainly in the south and south west of England but also South Wales and around Stockport.
Kennedy's Scaffolding Division offered a hire, sale and erection service from Poole, Eastleigh, Plymouth, Taunton and Swindon.
Kennedy's Electrical Division (Kenelek): the electrical wholesaling division, Kenelek, supplied materials to the electrical contracting industry, together with certain consumer durables. Kenelek also conducted an export business in electrical materials, plant and consumer durables.
Kennedy's Garden Centres Division had one of the largest garden centres businesses in Britain, operating from locations in southern England.
In some French-speaking African countries Niger France operated a building materials business under the name of Matco.
The Building Materials Division of UAC International Ltd comprised in May 1979 Kennedy's Building Materials Ltd; Kennedy's Builders Merchants, Garden Centres, Scaffolding, Electrical, Western Vemiculite, and Coal; and the Overseas Building Materials Department, with its own national companies in Nigeria and Ghana.
The surviving records of this division include one file for Kennedy's Crane and Vermiculite, later Kennedy's (Builders' Merchants). They also include selected records (mostly certified copies or photocopies) of numerous other small firms of builders' merchants, originally acquired by Kennedy's and subsequently devolving to UAC, most of which went into voluntary liquidation in 1978 or 1981. Those remaining (Duncan Knowlson Ltd, J C Annear and Company Ltd and Joynes Ltd) passed to Travis and Arnold plc as part of the 'Group interest' on 14 June 1985.