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Wyevale Garden Centres agrees sale of five of its largest garden centres to Dobbies Garden Centres
Gardman up for sale
Visit Daro this October to preview 2019 Indoor and Outdoor rattan collections
September sales just above average
Outstanding year for Job done - delivered growth as promised!
Change of ownership but business as usual for Bransford Webbs
GCA Trust sponsored delegates return from ‘inspirational’ IGCA Congress in Czech Republic
Formby nursery is blazing a trail in pot recycling
Cultivation Street's top community gardening ambassador is from Dobbies Milton Keynes
30k Sun giveaway heralds launch of FloPro classic hose reel
Family bereavment inspires £30k Dobbies defibrillator project
Continuing 'portable' garden trend set to benefit plant sales
Wildlife World generates record 60% rise in new enquiries
Kent & Stowe Dig for Victory gifts catch the eye for Christmas
Stewarts teams say goodbye hair...and hello to £5,500 for cancer charity
Jacksons 'boutique' Garden Centre celebrates 50 years
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Wild Bird Care sales see welcome increase
Zest 4 Leisure staff to take on Chester Marathon
Cyclamen sales surge ahead
Half pot sales very popular
Save the date for Perennial’s 180th anniversary party
Record September for growing media
The best of last week's
Rosebourne Aldermaston opens - GTN Xtra photo tour
When Wyevale Sudbury became Perrywood: the work behind the takeover
St Johns buy Wyevale Ashford Barnstaple
Former Gardman and Solus chief takes helm for new owners at Primrose
UK’s first recyclable pots arrive at Hillier Nurseries
Perrywood fined £104,000
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Former Gardman and Solus chief takes helm for new owners at Primrose

Former Gardman and Solus CEO Mark Pearson has taken the helm at Primrose following the online garden retailer’s acquisition by investors Rockpool.


The £6.5m deal was facilitated by bankers OakNorth. Primrose is the UK’s largest online pureplay garden retailer.


With Rockpool’s support, Primrose, with Pearson as CEO,  aims to expand its product offering across new categories, invest in its website and further penetrate European markets


OakNorth deals with with private equity firms this year include those for Lonsdale Capital’s acquisition of Simmons Bars and Literacy Capital’s acquisition of Dartmouth Partners.


Rockpool has invested around £350m in 70 companies across a diverse range of industries since its inception in 2012.


Founded in 2003, Primrose has an active customer base of more than 2.5m people with its products sold in the UK, US, and Europe.


Rockpool has appointed highly-experienced private equity industry chairman David Brock as non-executive chairman and will appoint a further non-executive director to support the business, with one of their partners, Darran Green, attending Primrose board meetings as the investor representative.


While Rockpool hold a majority stake, the management team have also invested significantly.


There have been several investments by private equity firms in the UK garden sector over the past few years - Foresight Private Equity’s acquisition of Hobbies Direct in June, Midlothian and Hattington Capital’s acquisition of Dobbies Garden Centres in 2016, and Rutland Partners’ acquisition of Gardman Group in 2015.


Commenting on the deal, Adam Agius, debt finance director at OakNorth, said: “Primrose is a well-run online business with an excellent reputation for providing high-quality garden products, service and support. In Rockpool, they’ve found a partner who can help take the business to the next level and ensure it’s prepared for a future that’s increasingly digital and increasingly international. Mark Pearson has been working alongside senior management at Primrose for a year so is well positioned to transition to CEO. We’re delighted to have supported the business with this acquisition and look forward to working with Rockpool on future transactions.”


Darran Green, Partner at Rockpool Investments, said: “Online sales of garden products account for approx. £650m of overall UK garden retail sales (13% share) and are expected to increase to £840m by 2020. Primrose is in a prime position to take advantage of this with a dedicated and growing customer base, solid partner and supplier relationships, and a market-leading product range. Mark has a strong track record of profitable business growth, strategic planning, and operational change management in SME and blue-chip US multinational organisations. He is the perfect candidate to lead this business into the next stage of its growth and we’re excited to help Primrose on its journey.”

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