Peter Barratt’s revealed as Wyevale’s latest acquisition

Wyevale Garden Centres has bought Peter Barratt’s Garden Centres for an undisclosed sum, believed to be up to £30m.

Peter Barratt’s operates freehold stores in Gosforth (Newcastle) and Stockton-on-Tees, which have sales of £18m a year, and a new leasehold in Beverley, which it hopes will turn over £4m by 2009. It employs 400 staff. The announcement this week ends some of the speculation that has been building over Wye-vale’s latest round of acquisitions. Sir Tom Hunter reportedly had £50m to spend on new stores. Wyevale bought Somerset-based Sanders GardenWorld earlier this month for £15m and the firm has said it would buy a company in the North and one in the South. An announcement has yet to be made on the southern store although the industry’s rumour mill has been working overtime. Peter Barratt said: “I want to pursue other business interests probably not in garden centres. We weren’t looking to sell but this is a serious offer. As we got bigger there would not be many buyers of that size.” Wyevale chief executive Barry Stevenson said the purchase fitted perfectly into its existing geographical coverage and extended the company’s coverage and market leadership. “The move demonstrates our determination to build on our strong platform within the garden centre industry.” Last week, a representative from Peter Barratt’s denied that the company was for sale. Marketing manager Andrew Barratt told HW: “It’s not us. We are a family-run firm and have no intention of selling.”

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