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Online garden products retailer secures £4m investment

BGF News 07.10.2012

BGF has announced its investment of £4 million of growth capital in Primrose, the rapidly growing online garden products retailer.

Primrose is owned and managed by the husband and wife team of Ian Charles and Erica Robb. Since 2003 the company has achieved impressive annual growth rates of up to 40% and is currently employing 125 people in Reading, Berkshire.

BGF will take a minority stake in the business and James Austin will join the existing board on behalf of BGF.

BGF’s equity investment will enable the company to significantly increase its employees and senior team and to fund working capital.  This will enable the business to continue on its established growth trajectory to maximise awareness of its quality products.

In addition to its investment, BGF has introduced the company to Steve Richards as Non-Executive Chairman.   With the help of the Chairman and BGF, the company aims to grow through an expansion of its product range.

Ian Charles commented: “The investment will have a transformational effect on our company, which we started from home in 2003.  However, capital aside, this is also a great opportunity to benefit from the expertise and wider resources that BGF is offering us as a partner investor.  Together we have ambitious plans to build a market leading online brand.”

James Austin, Investment Director at BGF, commented: “It’s a great business with some exceptional people, offering its customers a deep range of niche products and a high quality online experience.  In 9 years it has grown to become a market leader in its space.  We can support companies like this in a number of key ways; by providing a financial boost but also through our wider expertise and contact base.

“We look forward to working with the CEO, the management team and the Chairman as we grow the business with a view to establishing it as the brand in its market place.”

Paul Oldham, BGF Regional Director for the South West commented: “My team in the South West is definitely demonstrating the appetite for the BGF offering.  This investment is a great testament to our well established regional network enabling BGF to deliver transactions with locally placed investors building relationships with high quality businesses and advisors in their region.”