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Fargro set to bloom following management buy-out

02 June 2021 12:28 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

Fargro set to bloom following management buy-out

Horticultural solutions and products specialist, Fargro Limited is shrugging off the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and preparing for accelerated growth in 2021 and beyond following the successful completion of a management buy-out (MBO) with private equity partner, Ashridge Capital.

Despite the closure of garden centres in 2020 due to Covid-19, Fargro has enjoyed a stellar operating year, capitalising on increased consumer demand as the UK population turned to its gardens and window-boxes to improve mental wellbeing during recent periods of pandemic-related restrictions.

The MBO and investment from sponsor Ashridge Capital will enable the business to adopt a more agile approach to its growth strategy, ensuring it is able to occupy its rightful position in a competitive marketplace. This new structure will allow Fargro to invest in R&D, new product development, and business growth, more quickly and with more flexibility than the previous structure would support.

Richard Hopkins, Managing Director at Fargro Limited said:

“Fargro is a fabulous, well-respected business built over a period of 75 years. The combination of this investment, our vision, and the commitment of our passionate team ensures that we are now more strongly positioned than ever for a long and healthy future.

We are in an exciting place, working in a technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable, and highly innovative sector. The business is perfectly placed to meet the increasing demand for our products as the UK continues to work through the impact of the pandemic, and as growers maximise the post-Brexit demand for home-grown food and flowering plants.

Thanks to the support from both Ashridge Capital and Shawbrook Bank, we can now focus fully on preparing for growth and writing the next chapter of the Fargro story under our own management ream.

My thanks go to Phil Green, our outgoing Chairman, for his assistance and advice in completing this deal. Thanks also to out departing non-exec Directors for their support and encouragement over the five years I’ve been in the business. Chris Moncrieff, Jonathan Zwinkels, Rosie Freshwater and Mike Norris have stepped down from the board and David Sherratt, our private equity partner, has joined as a non-exec director.

Our business depends on the loyalty and support of our wonderful customers, suppliers, distributors and partners. I look forward to continuing to work with them and deliver the same high levels of support as we have always done.”

David Sherratt, Founder and CEO of Ashridge Capital, said:

“Fargro is a great business with a leading position in a dynamic and growing sector and led by a very impressive management team.  It has been a pioneer in developing products and solutions to minimise disease, pests and wastage for growers.  We are delighted to support the MBO and its future plans, which include organic and acquisition-led growth.” 

Fargro was advised by Irwin Mitchell (Legal) and FRP Advisory (Corporate and Debt Advisory). Ashridge Capital was advised by Porter Dodson (Legal) and Jenson Solutions (Financial Due Diligence). Shawbrook Bank was advised by Shoosmiths (Legal).

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