Published on 26 - March - 2012
Garden Centre Group bought by Terra Firma for £276mAfter months of speculation, the UK's largest garden centre operator today confirms it has been bought by leading private equity firm Terra Firma.
Syon Park, one of the Garden Centre Group's businesses
The company is being acquired by Terra Firma for £276m, which will be financed through a mixture of debt and equity. The transaction is expected to complete in April. Terra Firma says it plans to develop the group and has funds available for further investment in the business.
It was first revealed that Lloyds Banking Group had begun the process of selling the Garden Centre Group last September, with rumours rife that grocers Morrisons and Tesco were in the running, as well as a number of private equity groups, including Terra Firma.
Garden Centre Group chairman Andrew Sells said of the sale: "Several months ago, our shareholders took the strategic decision to realise their investment in The Garden Centre Group. I am glad the uncertainty over the future ownership of the business is now resolved."
Meanwhile, Garden Centre Group CEO Nicholas Marshall, who is expected to stay on with the group following the sale, commented: "We are looking forward to working closely with the team at Terra Firma to realise The Garden Centre Group's potential through our combined expertise and further investment."
The Garden Centre Group, previously known as Wyevale, operates 129 garden centres across England and Wales under brands including Blooms, Country Homes and Gardens, Bridgemere, Jack's Patch and Old Barn. The group reported a turnover of £241m in 2010.
Terra Firma chairman and chief investment officer Guy Hands said of the £276m deal: "The Garden Centre Group has enormous potential and we see considerable opportunity to help it grow through focused, strategic investment.
"Working with the management team, we want to establish TGCG's centres as the UK's favourite retail destinations for gardening and garden-related leisure. With plants at the heart of the business, TGCG will offer the highest quality and choice of garden products, backed-up by the best customer service."
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