Westland acquires Gardman Group

Westland says it’s ‘business as normal’ following its acquisition of one Europe’s leading consumer garden product firms.

Westland Horticulture has acquired Gardman Group and has immediately taken them out of administration. The purchase includes all trading assets, stock, infrastructure and Gardman brands, which include Cole and Bright, Grow It, Moulton Mill and Gardman Wild bird care.

This acquisition will bring much needed stability for our customers and to the Gardman business. The immediate focus will be to work with all customers to provide as much continuity as possible and ensure a smooth transition over the coming weeks.

The purchase of Gardman provides the opportunity to put a greater focus on core gardening by joining together the product strengths in Westland and Crest with those of Gardman. The growth of wildlife, the increased interest in the outdoor space and the opportunity to re-energise propagation and growing were factors in purchasing the business.

Edward Conroy, Managing Director at Westland, said: “We have always believed that Gardman is an important part of the gardening landscape, and we are committed to maintaining this for the long term.

“Gardman is fundamentally a strong business with good products. Our focus is to work together with all customers to make the transition simple and clear to all. It is imperative that in the coming days we keep our lines of communication open with customers and stakeholders alike. Westland is focused on delivering a strong future for Gardman categories which can only thrive from being part of the Westland family. For now, it’s very much business as usual for all concerned.”

For more information about Westland please visit www.gardenhealth.com.

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Here's what others have said...
Tony,  18 Mar 2019:
...To Sad Sherlock, the answer to where all of Gardman stock has gone, well try Peacocks Auction house, masses went through last year and more is appearing now, they say the money will go to charity!?
Agent,  29 Oct 2018:
...“The industry will survive this”? God it’s like someone has passed away. It’s Gardman and that’s it, one of many many suppliers who can supply all their goods to the industry and at most of time of better quality and at a better price. The industry will be a better place without them and there constant poor sales tactics of driving down prices to shift volume without a care in the world for the future of the market. They’re agents are good people but the company’s hierarchy are the bad apples. The blame lies with them and Rutland. The sooner the truth comes out the better for everyone. I’m sick of hearing ‘ahhh I feel sorry for Gardman’ IT WAS ALL OF THEIR OWN DOING. Lies and poor sales tactics from above.
Out of Pocket and annoyed,  29 Oct 2018:
...The demise of Gardman is disappointing, and the plight of the team in China is also very sad. But closer to home quite a few contractors, and many suppliers have been left significantly out of pocket, myself included. But the blame for this lies directly with Rutland, who along with PWC put Gardman into administration, having recently received a large insurance settlement, which they appear to have chosen to keep and not use to keep Gardman afloat or to settle outstanding debts. Westland have come forward and offered to buy most of the company, ensuring the staff are kept on and paid, and suppliers have a more secure ongoing business to supply. The chinese based operation was not part of this, and Rutland and PWC should have communicated this directly with the chinese team. It's right as previously stated the situation stinks, but the smell can be clearly traced back to the offices of Rutland. Who I am assuming are not too out of pocket, or seemingly bothered.
Intrigued of the north,  29 Oct 2018:
...@sales agent - read my article again I asked questions and was not slating people. You have a vested interest as you are a Gardman agent and I get that but the bigger picture has to be considered here.One thing buying patterns will change once again with this and we all need to be prepared for that and its implications. The industry will survive this and it should serve as a wake up call.
Sad Sherlock,  29 Oct 2018:
...This sounds very, very sad I don't know these people but it sounds very traumatic. Closer to home though, what does it mean for continuity of supply for us in the UK gardening market? I assume these people manage the supply chain, factories, customer orders and import agents etc. Does it mean no stock for next season or did Westland buy stock and move it already? Some answers would be very welcome please.

The failure of Gardman has caused ripple effects on employees, suppliers and customers. All hell has broken loose here at the Gardman China office!!! We are even blocked by some suppliers this week. We can imagine groups of creditors from all over the country will be marching in procession to GM China office. Thanks god most of the suppliers are kind-hearted and rational.

When it comes to employees: -

  1. We, 25 members of staff at GM China office. Basically, most of us have conscientiously been working for GM more than 5 years, even 10 to 12 yrs, spending all our youth at GM. However, we are made redundant from our jobs on 23rd October, compulsorily and suddenly, while nobody even tells us where we can see ourselves in future!!! Despairingly!!! You know, about two weeks ago, they promised we would get 3 months for handover and job hunting. But we get NOTHING!!! We are just shockingly told that we will be paid for 23 days ONLY in Oct. But not REASONABLE compensations. Jesus Christ, that’s SO UNFAIR!!! At least, we should have gardening leave as Gardman UK do. You know what, at no time and in no circumstances do we Gardman China office weather the storm with Gardman UK, especially in March’s fire disaster. But we Gardman China office are just abandoned by the company heartlessly!!! Are you too big to fail, or are we small enough to jail??? Apparently, you are economical with the truth and just don’t want to be responsible for Gardman China office.
  2. Two colleagues became new mothers last month, and one more is pregnant. What’s more, one senior citizen, who has been working for GM for many years, is to retire from this business soon. All those mentioned are unable to work again, but they need money to bring home the bacon. How can they survive without compensation?
  3. So far, not a sound reached our ears what and how we can proceed going forward, exclusively of shutting down the China office, orally/written unofficially. FUNNY!!! As yet, we haven’t terminated the contract with Gardman, so we cannot sign up with new employers for sure. That is to say, we are out of employ forever!!! Given this situation, the options with greatest chances for success would be lawsuits. One more time, we are SERIOUS in terms of salary and compensation!!! Hope we will be treated equally and kindly by someone.
Shinesun,  29 Oct 2018:
...Gardman China Office was informed to be closed on 23th October, but we didn't get any compensation.
Willa,  27 Oct 2018:
...It’s totally a conspiracy! Our Gardman China office didn’t have been accepted and even didn’t receive any compensation! And I am pregnant for five months! I couldn’t find a job now and even don’t have any living expenses! And you guys just send a email to ask us leave without nothing! Could you explain? And you also saying the Shanghai PWC will give us expenses. While they didn’t contract and meet us.
Sales Agent,  19 Oct 2018:
...I think intigued from the north has a bit of a cheek slating Garden Centre buyers, they are a great bunch! They along with the staff and agents at Gardman have had a rough ride this year and I am delighted that we have been purchased by a well respected Company from the trade. Thanks for your support this year, onwards and upwards!
Don’t be misled,  19 Oct 2018:
...You should sense a nasty smell! The whole thing stinks and points firmly at one group of people, Rutland! Consistently lying to garden centres to drain as much money as possible from the once mighty Gardman. Hopefully Garden Centres will now realise buying from one bigger supplier is risky and almost lazy buying. Look around! There are better quality products and very good prices out there and most importantly other suppliers have STOCK on the ground not in mystery containers at sea!h
Supplier still learning.....,  18 Oct 2018:
...You can have the best product or best pricing in the world, but.... in a concentrated seasonal business when 60-70% of sales go through a couple of days per week, in a few weeks determined by the weather, let's not forget the importance of product availability and service....... In that scenario it's a very straightforward requirement: Customers order goods, goods are available, goods are despatched and delivered, goods sell and now repeat, repeat, repeat. Simplz! Oh, and clear credits when occasionally things don't go Tickety-boo!
Intrigued of the North,  18 Oct 2018:
...mmm. Interesting. I think the business has been in financial trouble previously? I find it scary and frustrating that garden centres continually put a lot of their eggs in certain baskets.A few big suppliers have toppled over the years yet some seem to follow blindly these suppliers. is it lazy buying? is it power that the bigger supplier exert? Either way the garden sector needs to get better at buying and start to look (a little) harder for better suppliers that might not be as big but have innovation, flexibility and a point of difference. I hope this signals a change for the sector!
David,  18 Oct 2018:
...So, Westland have acquired Gardman "....out of administration...". Does this mean it was a "Packaged" Administration and that creditors get nothing? Why do I sense a nasty smell?

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