Online garden retailer completes MBO

Thu, 27 Sep 2018 | MBO/MBI



Primrose, an online-only garden products retailer has been acquired in a management buyout (MBO) supported by Rockpool Investments.

Rockpool now holds the majority ownership while the new management team have also invested a significant stake.

Darran Green, Investment Director at Rockpool said: "We are delighted to welcome Primrose into the Rockpool portfolio, adding to our existing UK investments in consumer products and outdoor retail. We believe the company is well-positioned to capture demographic trends favouring mature, home-owning consumers who are increasingly drawn to the competitive prices and product ranges available online.

We look forward to working with Mark and his team as they cement Primrose’s position as the go-to destination for the growing online community of garden enthusiasts."

Primrose was established in 2003 and offers customers a range consisting of more than 10,000 garden and outdoor leisure products including water features, awnings, sail shades, pest control products, planters and screening.

Its revenue grew to £38m in the year ending 31 October 2017 and sells direct to consumers through UK and European online platforms.

The MBO was led by Mark Pearson, previously chief executive of Gardman Group and Solus Garden & Leisure and now Primrose's new chief executive.

Mark Pearson said: "This transaction marks an exciting opportunity to capitalise on Primrose’s existing position as the UK’s market leader in the online-only garden products sector, offering an unmatched product range and great prices. Rockpool recognised Primrose’s strengths as a high-quality online retailer from the outset.

"The business has great potential to complement its existing product offering with improved category range, combined with significant investment in the Primrose customer experience and e-commerce systems. My team and I look forward to working with investors to deliver the investment plan."

Rockpool previously invested in the UK outdoor products sector with the backing of the 2016 acquisition of Hartley Botanic domestic greenhouses.

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