Exponent Private Equity announced on Friday that it had completed the purchase of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company's interests in Europe and Australia, and pledged to invest in more media and innovation to grow the business.
The purchase includes Scotts Miracle-Gro operations in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the UK. Scotts Miracle-Gro brands and products will continue to be manufactured and marketed in Europe and Australia as a result of licensing and sub-licensing agreements.
In Europe, the brands include Roundup, Weedol, Pathclear, EverGreen, Levington, Miracle-Gro, KB, Fertiligène, Substral, Osmocote and Naturen. Among the brands in Australia are Scotts, Osmocote, Naturen, Roundup, Home Defense and Pure Organics.
Exponent have appointed a senior leadership group to lead the international business based out of the UK office in Frimley, Surrey. Karl Kahofer will lead the group as CEO alongside Ted Linehan as chief commercial officer and Martin Lofnes, CFO. Between them they bring a wealth of consumer goods experience and expertise.
Sheila Hill, UK country manager (right), said: “We are delighted to have finalised the sale of the business to Exponent and are excited about the future of our business with our new owners and leadership team. We look forward to strong investments in our brands and categories with more media and innovation. In the meantime we are focused on being ready for next season and ensuring we continue to deliver an excellent service to our customers and consumers. In fact nothing much changes as the transition begins - working with the same people, same strong brands, under the same arrangements, with the name The Scotts Company (UK) Ltd.”
Exponent is an experienced investor in consumer businesses with turnovers between £75m and £400m and high-growth potential. The acquisition is Exponent's first investment in the lawn and garden market. Since its foundation in 20054, acquisitions have include businesses from Premier Foods, DMGT, BBC, News Corporation, Umeco, Live Nation, Virgin and Elere.
Simon Davidson, a partner at Exponent, said: “These are market-leading garden care brands loved by consumers around the world. We look forward to working with Scotts Miracle-Gro and investing further in advertising and innovation to continue to grow these brands and unlock the full potential of the business.”