New CEO for Mr Fothergill’s

Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds Limited has named Michael Yates as new the CEO.  He comes with 25 years of global brand building experience.

Michael Yates was formerly Chief Operating Officer at the Ceuta Group, a leading provider of end-to-end commercial outsourcing services for health and wellness companies. 

Previously he held Managing Director/Senior Vice President positions for Procter & Gamble, the US headquartered, multinational branded consumer goods corporation, in Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Germany, Ukraine and the UK.

With 25+ years of international experience he brings an unrivalled understanding of building successful brands in today’s complex global marketplace.  

Development both in the UK and globally

He aims to capitalise on Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds Limited’s strong reputation and customer loyalty to drive the future growth of the business.

He said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead a talented, experienced and dedicated team that is amongst the most knowledgeable and respected in the gardening and horticulture sector. I am excited by the enormous potential of the business and look forward to steering it through the next stage of its growth and development both in the UK and globally.”

Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds Limited was founded in in 1978 in Newmarket where it still has its headquarters.

It also has subsidiaries in Australia and New Zealand, where it has grown to be the market leader. The group sells its brands through over 5,000 outlets worldwide, including both national and independent retailers, direct-to-consumer platforms and e-commerce sites. Strategic distributor relationships extend the group’s international reach into other markets.

The business employs more than 220 people and generates annual revenues in excess of £40 million.

Communicate with customers in creative and meaningful ways

Yates added: “At Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds, our mission is to bring the joy of gardening to both experienced and novice gardeners. Whilst many of our brands have been enjoyed and trusted by gardeners for over 100 years, we are also keen to ensure we move with the times and communicate with existing and new customers in creative and meaningful ways.

“I firmly believe we can both grow the category as well as increase our share of this £multi-billion global market.”

Chelsea Group of Companies

Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds Limited, and the other businesses within the Chelsea Group of Companies that Yates will lead, has been wholly owned by funds within Harwood Capital Management Limited since August 2023.

The Chelsea Group of Companies encompasses a portfolio of brands dedicated to the gardening and horticulture sector. Its brands include DT Brown, Darlac, Johnsons, Country Value and Woolmans.

Harwood is a long term, considerate investor

Harwood is a leading investor in SMEs and lower-mid market companies across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Jerry Wilson, Partner at Harwood Private Capital, said: “We are delighted to have attracted someone of Michael’s undoubted calibre to be the new CEO and have every confidence that he will lead the dedicated team to further growth and global success.

“Harwood is a long term, considerate investor committed to supporting our portfolio companies to realise their full potential and we are confident that with this appointment Mr. Fothergill’s Seeds will do just that.”

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