Sites put up for sale after no buyers emerge for Kinglea

Kinglea Plants' Essex sites are for sale for £5m after the bedding grower failed to find a buyer for the business.

Sources suggested that no-one will buy the 200-staff Kinglea and the site will now be sold for salad growing, leaving a huge gap in the market for bedding that could lead to shortages and price rises.

Quinton Edwards is selling Essex-based Kinglea's 37ha Shottentons Farm with 3ha of 5.4m glass and a range of ancillary buildings, with planning consent for a further 3ha of glass and ancillary buildings. Nearby Lakeside Nursery with 2.5ha of land, 1.4ha of glass, staff accommodation and five-bed dwelling is also for sale.

Langard UK was among those who turned down the chance to buy Kinglea out of administration. The German plant supplier, which has bought UK growers Chessum and Brinkmans recently, was considering buying the bedding supplier to Wilkinsons, Tesco and garden centres.

But Langard UK managing director Richard Egerton said: "I can confirm that we have considered Kinglea but have decided not to progress any further."

BDO administrators Geoff Kinlan and William Turner said they would sell Kinglea's assets after failing to find an acceptable offer for the business. They confirmed that trading would cease "fairly shortly as the vast majority of the company's stock has been sold".

BDO said: "No acceptable offer has been received for the business as a going concern. Therefore, the receivers will now market the two freehold properties and other business assets with the assistance of agents BNP Paribas and Quinton Edwards."

Kinglea went into administration on 28 April. Garden writer Peter Seabrook said: "At the Dutch flower trials this week the discussion was about Kinglea and a potential shortfall and hardening of prices in bedding production next year because there is not enough glass available."


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