Butters Group bought by Flamingo Horticulture

One of the UK's biggest plants and flowers suppliers and growers has been bought out to create a £240m turnover plants, flowers and fresh produce business.

Image: Butters Group
Image: Butters Group

Spalding flower, plant and nursery business, The Butters Group, has been sold. The £52m turnover business,  has been bought by Stevenage-based Flamingo Horticulture Group, which has businesses in the UK, Europe and Africa. This makes the group one of Britain's biggest ornamental horticulture companies.

In the UK, the £189m turnover Flamingo is a supplier of fresh cut flowers and fresh produce. Flamingo, which has UK sites at Spalding, Sandy, Stevenage and Weston confirmed the deal this week.

The Butters Group supplies high street supermarkets and DIY outlets such as Marks & Spencer, J Sainsbury, Waitrose, ASDA and B&Q as well as garden centres and online retailers with plants and floral arrangements.

The group has extended its glasshouse and pack facilities and become business divisions Butters Flowers and Butters Nurseries in recent years.

Flamingo Flowers turned over £189m, up from £170m, in the year to 31 December 2016 with 10% gross profit margin and £2.74m profit after tax.

The percentage split between cut flowers, fresh produce and plants in the company including Butters in the UK is now about 50% flowers, 37.5% fresh produce and 12.5% plants.

Butters' Andy Coaten will remain Butters MD. Flamingo MD is David Brown.

Brown said: "We are extremely excited by this acquistion. We believe it is a complimentary fit to our existing horticulture business and will allow us to take a step forward in growing the Flamingo horticulture group as a whole."

Flamingo has a site opposite Butters in Lincolnshire and believe the acquistion will compliment its existing business well, adding ornamental horticulture to cut flowers and fresh produce, as well as DIYs and garden centres to its supermarket customers. Flamingo has no immediate plans to change Butters, although it is looking to expand it, but will look to integrate the cut flowers business after peak season in April 2018.

Reaction included MorePeople's Guy Moreton, who said in summary: "It's a good deal for all concerned in my opinion. Consolidation is here to stay and there is lots of synergy between the two."

Other than the expanded Flamingo group, Dutch Flower Group, is probably the biggest flower and plant supplier to the UK, turning over more than one billions euros as a business annually.

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