Thompson & Morgan sale process underway

Private equity owner Primary Capital is in talks to sell Thompson & Morgan.

Primary Capital bought T&M in 2002. Turnover is now £31m. Sources suggest the company is for sale at £8m. Catalyst Corporate Finance are advising Primary Capital on the sale.

T&M Group Holdings Ltd lost £4.08m on turnover of £32.3m in the year to 30 June 2013 and had a further loss of £1.82m in the year to 30 June 2014 on sales down to £31.6m. Sales were £41.5m in 2012. Latest sales figures for the year to 30 June 2015 have yet to be revealed. T&M is believed to have turned down an offer of £20m for the business five years ago before issues such as a fall in revenue from TV shopping channel QVC and the ending of Low Value Consignment Relief hit the company.

T&M said: "An improved performance and revitalised profitability have attracted a number of potential suitors towards the UK's largest mail-order garden seed and plant company, Thompson & Morgan. Current owner, Primary Capital, the growth company investor, has been approached by a number of interested parties and is now considering options for the future of the business."

The firm added that in recent years the company had consolidated its market leading position, with e-commerce revenue being over twice that of its nearest competitor. May 2015 saw a record 1.7 million visits to T&M's website.

T&M said it had improved its operational efficiency and launched Incredibloom fertiliser, Incredicompost and new Van Meuwen-branded seeds.

Thompson & Morgan has also made four brand acquisitions in recent years (Van Meuwen, Rainbow Flowers & Gifts, The Vernon Geranium Nursery and Chempak Fertilisers).

See more in HW 21 August.

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