Christchurch-based market leader Stewarts Garden Centres has acquired Abbey Garden Centre at Titchfield in Hampshire. The seven-acre site with its lines of greenhouses has been associated with growing since the 1960s, is seen as an ideal sister centre for the long-established Stewarts horticultural business.
Managing Director Martin Stewart said: “We’re delighted. We were so impressed with the team at Abbey Garden Centres that it felt totally right for us. We have found our niche with medium-sized, earthy garden centres. This fits perfectly and is unique with the Abbey behind it. We are going to be careful to gain the views of loyal customers for their feedback as to what we should improve as we invest in the centre.”
An experienced legal team from leading Bournemouth commercial solicitors Steele Raymond LLP provided the comprehensive support and advice on the acquisition, including commercial property, banking and finance, construction and development.
Martin continued: “The commercial legal advice provided to us by the team at Steele Raymond has been of huge value throughout this acquisition. The Steele Raymond team has been by our side every step of the way, providing responsive and first-class commercial advice.”
Nick Davies, a partner within the Company & Commercial team a Steele Raymond who led on the acquisition, said: “Stewarts are long-standing and cherished client of the firm and I am delighted that we were able to help them on their next exciting phase of growth. The team from Steele Raymond has been providing a range of legal advice to Stewarts which will not only create additional job opportunities over the next 12 months but will help them continue to go from strength to strength.”
Stewarts also expects to work closely with English Heritage regarding the neighbouring Titchfield Abbey when it comes to the long term refurbishment of the commercial greenhouses. The commercial greenhouses at Stewarts Broomhill Centre near Wimborne grow up to 25% of the plants sold at their centres.
The passion for horticulture has been in the Stewarts family for eight generations. The business can be traced back to 1742. Stewarts claim to have created the earliest dedicated garden centre opened in Ferndown in 1955 before their first out-of-town centre at Christchurch opened in 1961.
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