Coffin Mew secures MBO of Landgard UK

The Corporate team at Coffin Mew Solicitors has assisted in the management buy-out of one of the UK’s largest distributors of plants and flowers.

The corporate finance team was headed by Partner Amanda Brockwell and Richard Swain who successfully completed the transaction for Chichester-based Landgard UK, which is now rebranding as Verde Horticulture.

The £50 million business is well-known for distributing plants, flowers and bulbs to some of the country’s major supermarkets and retailers such as Waitrose, Tesco and B&Q.

Commercial Director Jim Floor, backed by Butters Group, has bought the business from its German owners and will continue to source and distribute plants and related products. The business will also continue to trade independently from its garden centre sites in Hampshire and West Sussex, but utilise Butters’ expertise in IT and sourcing to “substantially grow the business within the UK market”.

Mr Floor said:

I’m delighted that the MBO has been successful and grateful to Coffin Mew and RSM Tenon for the help and support they’ve given throughout the process.  We’d been looking at the best options for the business whilst ensuring that we maintained our core values of quality, integrity and hard work. The tie in with Butters will also enable Verde to offer a wider range of products and services to its customers, in particular we see opportunities in bulbs and houseplants which will ensure the business has less of a seasonal focus.

Coffin Mew Partner Amanda Brockwell said:

I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with the management team to deliver the solution everyone was hoping for. However, we certainly faced some challenges on the way including the complexity of a cross border deal, the fluctuating value of the euro and the unpredictable weather conditions affecting sales.

What’s really interesting is that most of us will have bought products supplied by Landgard in the past without perhaps realising it. Now, with this new business pushing forward in the market, it’s even more likely that we will do so as the company gears up to supply new customers with an even wider range of horticultural products. The business is in a fantastic position with excellent future prospects.

Corporate finance, due diligence and tax advice was also provided by David Copley, Michelle Harris and Nick Williams at RSM Tenon.

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