Hozelock bought by French spraying giant

Hozelock has been bought by French agricultural, industrial and consumer precision spraying specialist Exel Industries.

Hozelock which has around 70 per cent of the £77m UK garden watering market was previously owned by CVC Capital Partners and shareholders. The company had a 95m euro turnover in the year to September 2012 and has 500 employees. Exel has a 525m euro turnover.

Hozelock CEO David Algar said: "It is unsurprising, yet flattering, that a business the scale of Exel Industries would wish to bring Hozelock on board.  We’re confident that our horticultural expertise, technical innovation and knowledge of our customers’ requirements will provide a perfect fit to Exel’s own considerable heritage and commercial ambitions and it all points towards an exciting future for Hozelock."

Exel Industries MD Guerric Ballu said: "We welcome Hozelock Group into Exel Industries with great pleasure. The strong reputation of its brand names, its large distribution networks and the wide variety of its supply are important factors in continuing our growth in consumer markets. That’s why this acquisition is fully consistent with our strategy which allows EXEL Industries to keep a profitable and long term growth in our three markets."      

Hozelock's new MD Bernard Shannon, spoke at last week's HTA conference of the particularly challenging conditions that had faced the market this season: "I joined six months ago and what a year to join. This year has been particulalrly challenging."

He said hosepipe bans, then record rainfall "rainageddon" had left Hozelock more vulnerable than most companies.

But he said he was confident about the future, with new product areas such as propagation and exports to South Africa, Australia and North America meant Hozelock was "adapting to change".

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