James Finlay announced has signed a definitive agreement to sell its horticulture business, Finlays Horticulture Investments and its subsidiary companies to an affiliate of Sun European Partners, for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction includes the sale of Finlay Flowers UK based in Bedfordshire, Finlays Fresh Produce UK of Stevenage, Finlays Horticulture Kenya, Finlays Horticulture Tanzania, Omniflora, Finlay Flowers BV, FV SeleQt, Dudutech and Finlays Horticulture South Africa. Finlays will, however, retain its flower farm business in Kericho, Finlay Flowers, located within its tea estates in Kenya, who will continue to supply Omniflora and Finlay Flowers UK exclusively.
Finlays managing director Guy Chambers said: "Finlays Horticulture has a strong customer base, an experienced management team and is performing well. So the decision to sell Finlays Horticulture has not been taken lightly. However, this is a strategic decision. Finlays has a unique and integrated global footprint in the beverage industry. We own and operate tea estates, extraction facilities for tea, coffee and plant extracts, packing facilities and R&D labs across four continents. We felt that it was increasingly important to focus on beverages as our core business area, rather than trying to succeed globally at both beverages and horticulture in one company. We have been working closely with Sun on this transaction and we are happy that they will be in a position to support the growth of the horticulture business going forward under new ownership."
The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2015, subject to closing conditions including customary regulatory approvals.
The Horticulture Division’s management team will continue to lead the business and every effort will be made to ensure a smooth transition. Martin Hudson, cheif executive officer Finlays Horticulture said: "Our team is capable and committed to delivering value, quality, availability, sustainability, innovation and insight to retail customers in the UK, Europe and South Africa. This will continue under the new ownership of Sun."
"Finlays Horticulture is a business that is performing extremely well and has established a strong reputation in the market. Together with the management team, we will look to continue that success and focus on opportunities that will support further international growth, while continuing to invest in production," said Paul Daccus, managing director at Sun European Partners, who has promised no redundancies.