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26 March 2012

Terra Firma To Acquire The Garden Centre Group

Terra Firma is pleased to announce it has agreed to acquire The Garden Centre Group (TGCG).

The company is being acquired for a total consideration of £276 million which will be financed through a mixture of debt and equity, with the debt being arranged by Lloyds TSB Bank plc, Barclays Corporate and The Co-operative Bank plc.

TGCG is the largest specialist retailer of plants and garden care products in a £5 billion market in the UK.  It is also the only garden centre chain with national coverage through 129 centres and an e-tailing platform.  Terra Firma plans to develop the group and has funds available for further investment in the business.

Gardening is part of the British culture; almost half of all adults participate in gardening, rising to nearly two-thirds of those aged 45 and over. The sector is considerably less volatile than consumer spending overall and is expected to benefit from helpful demographic trends.


Commenting on today’s announcement, Guy Hands, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Terra Firma, said: 

“The Garden Centre Group has enormous potential, and we see considerable opportunity to help it grow through focussed, strategic investment.”

“Working with the management team, we want to establish TGCG’s centres as the UK’s favourite retail destinations for gardening and garden-related leisure. With plants at the heart of the business, TGCG will offer the highest quality and choice of garden products, backed-up by the best customer service.”

“TGCG is a very attractive business for Terra Firma. It already has a leading position in a very fragmented market with long-term growth prospects. TGCG’s portfolio of garden centres is difficult to replicate given planning restrictions and it has a strong and growing Gardening Club.”


Nicholas Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of The Garden Centre Group, said: 

“I am delighted that the uncertainty over the group’s ownership is now resolved. The group now has solid foundations in place from which to grow. We are looking forward to working closely with the team at Terra Firma to realise Garden Centre Group’s potential through our combined expertise and further investment.”

For further information:
Andrew Dowler + 44 (0)20 7251 3801Finsbury

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 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.

About Terra Firma
Terra Firma is a leading private equity firm which specialises in buy-outs of large, asset-rich and complex businesses. Terra Firma creates values for those businesses and its investors by delivering improved strategy, operations and management. Since being set up in 1994, Terra Firma has invested over €13 billion of equity and completed transactions with an aggregate enterprise value of €44 billion. Further information is available at www.terrafirma.com.


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