Landscape firm targets business opportunities

Nurture Landscapes has no plans to slow down following its acquisition of Integritas Landscapes from Securitas last November. Managing director Peter Fane said the company would be actively seeking new business opportunities, with an aim of hitting £40m in turnover within four years.

Nurture Landscapes' Peter Fane
Nurture Landscapes' Peter Fane

The company works primarily in the business-to-business sector, including business parks, hotels and schools as well as jobs such as the Tate Modern gallery and the V&A. It has grown from £0 to £25m since April 2008 through a mixture of organic growth and 11 company acquisitions. It now has "truly national geographical coverage" with more than 400 staff but could benefit from more density in some areas, said Fane.

"Each of the last two years we won £3m of new maintenance work from our sales team. We would hope to continue that and make acquisitions of £3m-£4m each year as well," he added. "We're constantly in touch with a number of potential targets with a view to ideally make a decent sized acquisition each autumn.

"There are still some very nice businesses out there in that £1m-£5m turnover range where people have had enough - they want to retire or go abroad. There aren't too many people they can potentially sell to. They know we're in the market. Some might know me and make contact because they know we would be a good home for them."

At £5m turnover Integritas was Nurture's biggest acquisition so far, but the move has been "almost seamless", said Fane. Integritas was "a tiny part" of the £100m per annum Securitas operation before Nurture bought it. "They had got it to £5m so had done well but plateaued there because they weren't the key focus. Now they're with a horticulture specialist we can focus on them, and those staff that are ambitious will have opportunities to grow with us."

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