The six latest sites to be sold are Bold Heath, Carr Gate, Leyland, Coventry and Bolton, which have been snapped by family-run British Garden Centres, whilst Woburn Sands has been bought by Rochmills Group
According to the statement issued by Wyevale this morning, both buyers will continue to operate all sites as garden centres, with the sales expected to complete by the end of this month.
Wyevale Garden Centres chief operating officer Anthony Jones said: “We are pleased to have agreed the sale of a further six centres - since the launch of the sale process in May 2018 we have sold 46 centres and have transformed our financial position. We continue to evaluate a wide range of competitive offers from group buyers, regional operators and local entrepreneurs, but we also look forward to re-focusing our efforts and trading the upcoming spring season with the vast majority of our remaining centres. We would like to thank our great colleagues at these centres, who have been central to the performance of their centres and made them so appealing to these buyers. We wish them well for the next stage of their growth and development under new ownership.”
British Garden Centres - which was is run by brothers Charles and Robert Stubbs, and Charles’ wife Philippa - will see its current portfolio grow considerably with the new additions. The business posted a turnover of £32million in its latest accounts, and operates Arcadia Garden Centre, Briggs Garden Centre (which it bought from Frosts in 2000), Chapel Garden Centre, East Durham Garden Centre, Gilberdyke Garden Centre, Horncastle Garden Centre, Hornsea Garden Centre, Irton Garden Centre, Roxton Garden Centre, Towneley Garden Centre, and its first-ever site, Woodthorpe Garden Centre in Lincolnshire.
MD Charles Stubbs said: “We are proud to announce the purchase of these five centres into our British Garden Centres family, making our independent, family owned group now 16 centres. Myself, Robert and Phillippa and all of the team are looking forward to working with these new centres and their teams ahead of a busy spring season. We would like to express our thanks to all involved in this complex process.”
Rochmills Ltd, which acquired the Woburn Sands site, is run by the Sehmi family, who have "significant experience in operating retail and leisure businesses", according to a spokesperson from Christie & Co. The deal must have been in the offing for a few months, as Rochmills created a new company, Hampton (Woburn Sands) at the end of October last year.
The future of the 105 remaining Wyevale sites is still unknown. Christie & Co, the specialist business property advisor managing the sale process on behalf of thhe chain, said it has achieved considerable interest from a wide variety of buyers, adding that discussions over possible future sales continue.
It explained: “The opportunity to acquire garden centres has ignited significant interest within the sector and beyond, and as part of the process Christie & Co continue to liaise with bidders.”