Nurture Landscapes buys new firm

Nurture Landscapes grows its business by buying landscape maintenance and cleaning company.

Nurture Landscapes has bought Landcare, a landscape maintenance and cleaning company based in Manchester.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, went through on 1 August, and Landcare's 50 employees and several contracts are currently being synchronised with Nurture.

Some of the new clients gained in the acquisition include Praxis Real Estate Management, retail property consultants Edgerley Simpson Howe, property managers Workman, and property developers and investment specialists Brookhouse Group.

Nurture has merged both companies' Manchester operations and Halifax and Liverpool depots and will centralise the back office functions in Blackburn, leading to the loss of two part-time roles.

Landcare had annual sales of around £1.2m and was established by former owner Mike Jones in 1988. He will retain a senior sales-based role in the company.

Nurture Landscapes managing director Peter Fane said Landcare was a good fit for his business in both location and client type.

"It brings a lot of retail parks to our portfolio," he said. "They have quite widespread clients and with our national coverage we will be able to give those clients a local service. Joining the two companies together means we benefit from economies of scale in Manchester. We also benefit from their expertise on retail parks and a lot of local knowledge and the contracts Mike has built up."

Some, such as Cobham-based Edgerley Simpson Howe, are closer to Nurture's headquarters in Windlesham, Surrey.

"This gives us a big opportunity to develop a relationship with these clients throughout the south of England," said Fane.

He added that Landcare's gritting and snow clearance division was of particular use to clients in the north of England.

The acquisition brings the company up to an annual turnover of £13m, with 275 members of staff. It was funded from cash generated by Nurture, according to Fane, whose appetite for growth remains strong. He is currently scoping out another purchase in the south west.

£800,000 contract - Grounds maintenance

Nurture started its biggest contract yet last month. The company provides grounds maintenance and litter picking seven days a week at Stockley Park, a business park near Heathrow Airport. It employs 19 full-time staff to fulfil the £800,000-a-year contract. It also invested £200,000 in new equipment, including three John Deere tractors and STIHL electric hedge cutters and leaf blowers.

Fane said Stockley Park is in his "golden square" of business parks which includes estates in Farnborough, Uxbridge and Chiswick.

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