Gardman is the UK’s leading supplier of wild bird care products, tooling, lighting and gardening sundries to the garden sector. The business supplies some 2,500 products, sourced from over 200 factories, mainly overseas, to both independent garden centres and national chains in the UK and abroad.
The business had completed a financial restructuring in 2012 alongside the recruitment of a new senior management team to effect the significant business turnaround required including a head office move, range realignment, cost reduction and a brand investment strategy.
The management team successfully enacted their turnaround strategy over the following two years, enabling the Institutional shareholders to assess their strategic options.
What difference did we make?
Our comprehensive review of the business concluded it had excellent potential for growth. However, to deliver this would require significant cash investment and an operationally focused investor. Therefore, our advice was to bring in an investor who would be supportive, both operationally and financially, as management embarked on the next stage of their strategy. We also recommended this should be achieved within a short timescale to ensure the momentum of the turnaround was continued.
We introduced a handful of investors with the appropriate investment focus and designed a process that gave meaningful access to seriously interested parties. This ensured these parties were quickly able to appreciate and value the growth opportunities. Furthermore, working with our Debt Capital Markets team, we commenced discussions with potential debt providers including banks, integrated asset lenders and alternative debt funds to ensure the debt element of a deal would not cause any delay.
During this intensive period of work we solicited a number of offers, one of which was from Rutland Partners. Their investment style - focused on operational change with an appetite to provide further capital to support such change - stood out. In short time frames we negotiated detailed Heads of Terms, including a very tight, but fair, locked box mechanism, and a weekly milestone-based exclusivity period. This allowed us to closely manage the due diligence process and achieve an efficient completion.
The resultant deal gives management the platform to deliver on their ambitious plans and the shareholders the successful exit they wanted.