Brothers sell £15m Yarnton Nurseries business No 25 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Friday 14 April, 2017
The sale of Yarnton Nurseries near Oxford to investors Newcore Capital Management, announced last Thursday, comes just a year before its owners, twin brothers Richard and Nigel Wallbridge, were due to celebrate the family business’s 50th anniversary.
The brothers, who left school at 14 and are now to retire at 72, took over the site in 1968 when it was a small nursery comprising five glasshouses turning over just £3,000.
Today, Yarnton Nurseries Garden & Shopping Village, to give its full title, occupies 12 acres and is in the upper turnover quartile of garden centre retailing, thanks to well-established concession income. The garden centre enjoys a turnover of more than £4 million while the full site generates turnover of around £15m. It is reported to have changed hands on Friday 7 April for an undisclosed sum believed to be more than £10 million.
The business has been run for the past 10 years by retail consultant Bob Marley, who negotiated the Newcore deal. Marley will stay on during the management transition.
As well as the garden centre, the site includes a 150-seater restaurant, a building supplies business, an antiques centre, spa supplier, fashion shops, shoe outlets, home furnishings retailer, kitchen and bathroom centres, aquatics centre, cookshop and wine merchant, among others.
Newcore Capital Management recently launched Newcore Strategic Situations III LP, a £50m opportunistic fund to invest in UK real estate assets linked to social infrastructure, storage and accommodation. It philosophy is to focus on assets it considers to be “central to the continuing needs of society and resilient to the internet’s deflationary effect”.