The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, announced today (Tuesday 2nd May 2017) it has received from Exponent Private Equity LLP a binding and irrevocable offer for its European and Australian consumer operations. The proposed transaction is expected to close before September 30, subject to regulatory approval and prior information and consultation with Works Councils and employee representative bodies.
The proposed sale includes ScottsMiracle-Gro operations in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the U.K. Under terms of the proposed deal, ScottsMiracle-Gro associates in these locations would become employees of the Exponent-owned operations upon closing. ScottsMiracle-Gro brands and products would 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®, the availability of which is dependent upon the country. Among the brands in Australia are Scotts®, Osmocote®, Naturen®, Roundup®, Home Defense® and Pure Organics®.
“Our international lawn and garden business is the strongest in the marketplace with outstanding brand recognition and a talented and dedicated team of associates,” said Phil Jones, SVP of ScottsMiracle-Gro International Operations. “We’re delighted to have reached the proposed agreement with Exponent, as they would be an excellent steward of the brands and be well positioned to take the business to the next level. We expect the proposed transaction to be seamless to our retail partners, consumers and associates.”
The proposed sale reflects ScottsMiracle-Gro’s commitment – announced as Project Focus in the Company’s fiscal year 2016 – to concentrate more of its resources on its U.S. business. Since then, the Company has sought to find a partner or buyer of its international business who would steward the brands, give stability to associates and invest in growth opportunities.
The deal is being reported in the US as being worth $250m with Scotts CEO, Jim Hagedorn, saying there was a lot more interest than the company expected.
Exponent is an experienced and successful investor in consumer businesses with high-growth potential. The proposed sale would mark Exponent’s initial investment in the lawn and garden space.
Commenting on the acquisition, Simon Davidson, Partner at Exponent, said: “These are market-leading garden care brands loved by consumers around the world. We look forward to working with the Company and investing further in advertising and innovation to continue to grow these brands and unlock the full potential of the business.”
A statement on the Exponent website added that Scotts Miracle-Gro brands and products would continue to be manufactured and marketed in Europe and Australia as a result of licensing and sub-licensing agreements. ScottsMiracle-Gro's products are currently sold in leading retailers such as B&Q, Bunnings, Gamm Vert, and independent garden centres in its key markets.
Exponent is an experienced and successful investor in consumer businesses with high-growth potential and has a strong record of successful corporate carve-outs.
About Exponent Private Equity
Exponent is a private equity firm investing primarily in businesses with significant presence in the U.K. with enterprise values between £75m and £400m. It works with businesses across a broad range of sectors to unlock value and drive growth. Its current and former portfolio companies include businesses such as Quorn Foods, Photobox Group, Loch Lomond Whisky, Big Bus Tours, the Ambassador Theatre Group and Trainline. This transaction would represent Exponent’s 18th corporate carve-out transaction since it was founded in 2004; it has acquired businesses from a range of vendors, including Premier Foods, DMGT, BBC, News Corporation, Umeco, Live Nation, Virgin and Alere.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are among the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we maintain a minority interest in a joint venture with TruGreen®, the largest residential lawn care service business, and in Bonnie Plants®, the largest marketer of edible gardening plants in retail channels. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®.
For additional information, visit scottsmiraclegro.com.