FRP Advisory has overseen the £100m-plus buyout of horticulture supplier and family business, Mr Fothergill’s Seeds, with the backing of Harwood Private Capital.
Fothergill’s has “grown” into a £50m turnover business with international offices in Australia and New Zealand. The business supplies its products via its direct to consumer channels and to more than 3,000 retailers and partners including large national retailers and garden centres worldwide.
In a deal led by the firm’s corporate finance team, the Newmarket-headquartered business will continue to be led by managing director Dave Carey and its management team – supported by new non-executive chair Matt Atkinson – as it pursues “further growth” across its trade and direct to consumer channels.
According to FRP, the deal sees the exit of Fothergill’s founding shareholders, including former joint managing director, John Fothergill, and provides an “incentivised” growth platform for the senior management team, supported by new growth capital from Harwood Private Capital and OakNorth Bank.
FRP said its corporate finance partner Dave Howes and corporate finance director Ryan Symonds, supported by tax director Matt Field, acted as lead advisers on the transaction.
Dave Carey, managing director at Mr Fothergill’s Seeds, said: “The business my father Brian founded with Jeff Fothergill 40 years ago that myself, Aaron Whitehouse and John Fothergill have led for the last decade, has remained true to its family values while becoming one of the world’s leading seed brands.
“Those values, and our commitment to supporting our customers with the best possible product and service, will continue to be at the core of our offer as we enter into an exciting new era with Harwood Private Capital. I’m looking forward to working with the team as we target further growth across our international client base and the direct-to-consumer market.”
Dave Howes, corporate finance partner in FRP’s Norwich office, added: “We’ve had the privilege of supporting the team at Mr Fothergill’s for the past two years and, in that time, have come to see first-hand the business’ growth potential.
“We wish all involved the best for the future as the firm continues to fly the flag for high-quality British brands on the domestic and international stage.”