Portfolio Business news

02 November 2012

Kevin Bradshaw Appointed CEO of Garden Centre Group

Nils Steinmeyer to become Group CFO

The Garden Centre Group, the UK’s largest garden centre company which was purchased by Terra Firma in April 2012, announces the appointment of Kevin Bradshaw as Chief Executive Officer and Nils Steinmeyer as Chief Financial Officer.

Kevin joins the Group from Avis Europe PLC, the worldwide car rental company where he was Managing Director on the executive board, leading the UK business and information technology across Europe. At Avis, Kevin held direct responsibility for the UK operations, comprising of £200m domestic revenue and 1,500 employees across 210 sites, including responsibility for balance sheet funding.

Kevin has held previous roles at Reuters Finance PLC, a subsidiary of Reuters Group PLC, where he served as Managing Director of the Enterprise Information Division and at Kalchas Group,  a strategy consultancy firm, founded as a  spin  off  from  McKinsey and  Bain  & Company where he was responsible for delivering projects to FTSE 100 companies specialising in the retail sector. Kevin will join The Garden Centre Group on 19 November 2012.

Nils was a Finance Director at Terra Firma with responsibility for The Garden Centre Group and has been a member of The Garden Centre Group’s board since the date of acquisition. Over the past few years Nils has worked closely with several Terra Firma businesses, including Deutsche Annington, AWAS and Phoenix Natural Gas.  He joined Terra Firma in 2003 as Financial Controller with a remit to align the financial management and reporting standards across the firm’s portfolio businesses. Prior to joining Terra Firma, Nils spent 11 years with General Electric Co. in a wide range of finance roles across various divisions of the company, including 5 years in businesses where General Electric was a minority shareholder. Nils takes up the permanent position of CFO at The Garden Centre Group joining the Company with immediate effect.

Stephen Murphy, Chairman of The Garden Centre Group said:

"I am delighted to announce both Kevin’s appointment as CEO and Nils appointment as CFO of The Garden Centre Group. Kevin’s strong strategic skills and experience of leading large teams makes him ideally positioned to support the Group’s future growth. And Nil’s experience with Terra Firma will be invaluable as the Company continues to grow under their ownership”

Commenting on his appointment, Kevin Bradshaw said:

"This is a fantastic opportunity and I am thrilled to be working with Stephen and the team as we develop The Garden Centre Group’s growth under Terra Firma’s ownership.”

Commenting on his appointment, Nils Steinmeyer said:

"I am looking forward to working with the team at The Garden Centre Group. It is an exciting time to be joining given the Group’s development plans.”

Guy Hands, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Terra Firma, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Kevin as the new Chief Executive and Nils as CFO. Kevin's turnaround and multi-site experience will help drive the necessary strategic change and operational transformation of The Garden Centre Group in line with Terra Firma's plans. Nils’ experience at Terra Firma makes him ideally positioned to assist with the Company’s development and growth. We look forward to working with them both in growing the garden centre group and expanding its customer base.”

About The Garden Centre Group

The Garden Centre Group comprises 129 centres across England and Wales operating under the brands including Blooms, Country Homes and Gardens, Bridgemere, Heighley Gate, Jack’s Patch, Old Barn, Sanders, Woodlands and Wyevale. The Garden Centre Group has a Gardening Club of more than 2.5 members.

The Group is the UK’s largest garden centre operator by a significant margin with a broad footprint across the Midland, Southern England and Wales. The majority of the Group’s 129 centres are held either as freeholds or long leaseholds.


Josephine Corbett
F T I Consulting
+44 (0)20 7269 7250
+44 (0)7703 329 964
Andrew Dowler
RLM Finsbury
+44 (0)20 7251 3801
+44 (0) 7887 607744

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