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Wyevale could sell off smallest and largest centres

Wyevale Percy Thrower 725 x 500

The Wyevale Garden Centre group's store estate might be 'topped and tailed' in the latest round of bidding, according to industry chatter.

It is thought that the smallest and largest centres could be sold off in the latest round of bids, which ends on Friday September 7th. 

If this scenario plays out, a management buy-out could enable the remaining centres to continue to trade under the Wyevale name, assuming there were enough centres left to ensure the viability of the head office and logistics side of the business.

Owner Terra Firma put Wyevale up for sale in May of this year, having made significant investment in the business as part of a turnaround programme.  Customers and staff have responded positively to the improvements with the business now achieving sales and profit growth. 

Wyevale is the UK’s biggest garden centre chain, with 145 garden centres, ranging from local horticultural centres to major leisure destination venues. The garden centres include 144 restaurants and cafes and 700 concessions with 240 partners. These have been significantly developed during Terra Firma’s ownership and have been key to driving footfall and de-seasonalising the business, making the centres attractive all-year round destinations. 

Ten centres have already been sold in the first round of bidding: eight to Blue Diamond and two to developers.

There are several high-profile centres still for sale, including Fair Oak, Sudbury, Tunbridge Wells and Woodcote Green in the south east.  Others include Jack's Patch, Sidmouth, Syon Park, Wimbourne and Wych Cross.

There has been considerable interest in the sale of the Wyevale business, with garden centre chains including Dobbies, Hillier, Squire's and Cherry Lane, among others, believed to have looked at the sites.  Edinburgh Woollen Mill withdrew from the bidding process in July, stating that it did not wish to enter into a bidding war with potential competitors.

Earlier this week, Blue Diamond became the UK's third largest garden centre group after it officially acquired eight Wyevale centres.

Source : Insight DIY Team

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21 August 2018

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