Tyrone horticultural group Westland completes Gardman deal

Westland believed to be paying about £4m for the English garden products company

Westland has become one of Europe’s fastest growing garden product companies

Westland has become one of Europe’s fastest growing garden product companies

 

The Tyrone-based horticultural company, Westland, has completed the takeover of a former English rival, garden sector supplier Gardman Group, in a multimillion pound expansion that will grow its workforce to more than 800 people.

Dungannon-headquartered Westland Horticulture did not disclose the price it paid for the Peterborough-based Gardman Group, which it bought out of administration, but it is estimated to have been in the region of £4 million (€4.5 million).

Gardman is one of the UK’s biggest garden products companies supplying major retailers and independent garden centres. Last March, a major fire broke out at its key warehouse in Daventry, which put the company under significant financial pressure that resulted in administrators being appointed to the company.

Gardman’s business and assets have been acquired by Westland, with financial backing from Danske Bank.

The English company’s 171 employees have also transferred over to the Tyrone company.

Significant acquisition

It is the company’s latest significant acquisition in England. In 2015 it bought over Cheshire-based horticulture firm William Sinclair for an estimated £13 million (€14.6 million) also out of administration and had previously acquired Cranswick Pet Products in Driffield in a deal valued at about £18 million (€20.2 million) in 2012.

Westland has become one of Europe’s fastest-growing garden product companies and now has operations in Northern Ireland, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and France.

Latest financial accounts show the Dungannon group reported pre-tax profits of more than £5 million (€5.6 million) and a turnover in excess of £130 million (€146.5 million) in 2017.

Scott Dougherty, finance director at Westland Horticulture, believes the Gardman Group is “a natural fit” for the ambitious Northern Ireland organisation.

“With the business having a similar customer base in the independent garden centre trade, it is a logical move which will strengthen Westland Horticulture’s position in the UK, Ireland and European markets.

“The home garden sector in a mature market but it is also a resilient market with a loyal base of customers who love their gardens.”