Terra Firma puts Wyevale Garden Centre up for sale

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Tuesday 22 May 2018

Terra Firma puts Wyevale Garden Centre up for sale

(Sharecast News) - Private equity fund Terra Firma has put Wyevale Garden Centres on the block, offering a trade buyer a portfolio of 145 retail outlets across the UK ranging from horticultural centres to leisure destination venues.
The sale comes at an "advanced stage of a turnaround programme", Terra Firma said, after significant investment in the core business since being bought from Lloyds for £276m in 2012 as The Garden Centre Group.

Terra Firma boss Guy Hands has tried to sell Wyevale before, with selling prices reaching up to £700m, and has now appointed property adviser Christie & Co to advise on the process of the sale.

Wyevale lost £105.5m in its last full year but is expected to grow profit substantially this year after a recovery in May from poor weather earlier in the year after a turnaround overseen by Terra Firma vice president Justin King and Weyevale chief executive Roger Mclaughlan, ex of Sainsbury's and Toys R Us respectively.

"The improvements made by the new leadership team at Wyevale Garden Centres supported by 6000 dedicated colleagues, means that now is the right time to seek new, long term ownership for the business," said King.

Mclaughlan added: "Wyevale Garden Centres has transformed beyond recognition over the last few years, and our customers are responding really positively to all the improvements we've been making, with improved ranges, high stock availability and exceptional garden centre standards."

Steve Rodell from Christie & Co said, "The sale of Wyevale Garden Centres presents a unique opportunity for a wide range of buyers from financial institutions, existing garden centre operators, independent business people and entrepreneurs to buy well invested local garden centres within the price range of £200k to £35m."

The sites range in size from one to 108 acres and are profitable standalone business opportunities, with the majority of sites including restaurants, cafes and children's play areas.


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