Wyevale Garden Centres put up for sale

Wed, 23 May 2018

A difficult few years of trading and an unsuccessful turnaround programme mean that Britain’s largest garden retail group, Wyevale Garden Centres, is being put up for sale by its owner.

Private equity firm Terra Firma, which took ownership of the garden centre chain in 2012, has announced that Wyevale could be sold as a whole or split up and sold as individual stores.

The firm currently maintains 145 branches across the UK, which range in size from one to 132 acres and many of which have extra facilities, such as restaurants or cafes, alongside 700 concessions.

The garden retailer reported a £105.5 million operating loss in its latest financial results, but is reportedly on target to record its best ever may thanks to a large-scale turnaround effort.

The firm’s chief executive, Roger McLaughlan, said that recent efforts had transformed Wyevale “beyond recognition”.

He added that improvements such as wider ranges, “high stock availability and exceptional garden centre standards” had led to a positive response from customers.

McLaughlan went on to say: “Thanks to the hard work of all of our colleagues, we remain firmly on track to grow our sales and profits this year.”

Terra Firma has appointed specialist business property advisors Christie & Co to handle the sales process.

Chris Day, global managing director at Christie & Co, said: "The sale of Wyevale Garden Centres presents a unique opportunity for a wide range of buyers from financial institutions, existing garden centre operators, independent business people and entrepreneurs to buy well invested local garden centres within the price range of £200k to £35 million."

The private equity firm’s vice president Justin King said: “The improvements made by the new leadership team at Wyevale Garden Centres supported by 6000 dedicated colleagues, means that now is the right time to seek new, long term ownership for the business.”


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