Dungannon-based Westland Horticulture has completed the acquisition of a rival company in England, with support from Danske Bank.

Established in 1990 in Co Tyrone, Westland is now one of the fastest growing consumer garden product companies in Europe, supplying a range of gardening products including lawn care, plant food, pest control, weed killers and mulches. Westland also owns the market leading brand of seed, Unwins, and wild bird feed ranges Peckish, Nature’s Feast and Bucktons.

The company has completed the purchase of Peterborough-based gardening products supplier the Gardman Group for an undisclosed sum. Gardman’s business is split between bird care products and garden hardware, both market segments in which Westland operates. Through the acquisition Westland has bought all trading assets, stock and Gardman brands, which include Cole and Bright, Grow It, Moulton Mill and Gardman Wild bird care.

Scott Dougherty, Finance Director at Westland Horticulture, said: “Gardman Group’s business is a natural fit and the acquisition is in line with the company’s strategic direction. With the business having a similar customer base in the independent garden centre trade it is a logical move which will strengthen Westland Horticulture’s position in the UK, Ireland and European markets.

The Home Garden sector in a mature market but it is also a resilient market with a loyal base of customers who love their gardens.”

He added: “We had to move quickly on the Gardman transaction and Danske Bank has been very supportive through the process. The bank knows our business well and backed the management team fully in our decision to make this acquisition.”

Following the acquisition, the Westland group will have more than 800 employees. As well as bases in Northern Ireland and England, the company also has a growing European footprint, including operations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and France.

Rory Clarke, Head of Acquisition at Danske Bank, said: “Westland Horticulture is an ambitious business that has a strong track record of growing both organically and through acquisition. Danske Bank has supported the company in its previous acquisitions of William Sinclair and Cranswick Pet Products and we were delighted to do so again through this transaction.

“Westland has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with its products available for purchase in independent garden centres, large retailers on the high street and online and also in most supermarkets across the UK.”

Westland Horticulture bought garden centre supplier Gardman Group out of administration.

Three men in suits stand, spread out from each other slightly, in a workyard. Behind them is machinery for transporting products and stacks of bags of soil.