Notcutts buys NWF for £14.5m

Notcutts have bought the North West Farmers garden centre group, making it the 3rd largest garden centre business in the UK.

The deal, news of which was broken by Horticulture Week on 19 September,  adds six garden centres to East-Anglia based Notcutts chain of thirteen, most of which are in central and south-eastern England.

They are: 

Rivendell and Woodford Park in Cheshire, Wheatcroft and Dukeries in Nottinghamshire, Victoria in Yorkshire and Aston Park in Lancashire.

In the year ended 31 May 2008 NWF's garden centre division reported revenue of £21.8m and a loss after taxation of £0.3m.

 At 31 May 2008 NWF's the garden centre division had net assets held for sale of £15.3m.

The acquisition is the first since Andy King’s arrival at Notcutts as CEO in 2007.

King said: We are delighted with this addition to the Notcutts family. The six new garden centres have an excellent team, quality offering with high standards of customer service and plantsmanship, making them a very complimentary fit with the Notcutts brand. The purchase extends our geographical coverage and existing and new customers will be able to benefit from the best of both businesses.

Both companies say It will be business as usual for the immediate future.

Richard Whiting, Chief Executive, commented:

"The disposal of the garden centres provides the opportunity to rationalise and focus NWF on its three specialist and profitable distribution divisions and exit the retail market. It also enables the Group to reduce debt and strengthen the balance sheet to support the future development of the Group."

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