Former Garden & Leisure Group director and HTA CEO, Carol Paris has received backing from Puma Investments to develop a group of garden centres in the south of England.
Ms Paris has announced the formation of new company, Somerton Ltd, which she will use to develop garden centres in Southern England, focusing on “high-growth sectors including fresh local food and table service restaurants”.
The new business venture has been financed by individual investors and Puma Investments. The fund management business is the principle investor in Rosebourne, which opened its first garden centre in Andover 18 months ago and is currently developing a further site in Aldermaston set to open later this year. Somerton Ltd has signed a franchise agreement with Rosebourne and will trade at its centres under the Rosebourne brand.
Ms Paris, who is also on the board of garden suppplier Briers, takes the helm as CEO of Somerton Ltd, bringing five years of experience as CEO of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA). She also oversaw a £45million turnover at the Garden & Leisure Group as operations and buying director before it was sold to Wyevale in 2013.
Rupert West, investment director at Puma and Head of Puma EIS, said: “We are delighted to be backing Somerton Ltd and to have such an experienced retailer at the helm in Carol Paris.
“There is proven demand in the market for the kind of high quality offer that Somerton will be providing and the company is now well funded for site acquisition and development.”
Carol is on the lookout foor potential sites and has asked people to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org