Clearwater sows the seeds for growth


The Business Services team at Clearwater Corporate Finance has advised Bolton-based turf management company, Rigby Taylor, on its acquisition by AIM-listed agricultural services group, Origin Enterprises PLC.

Rigby Taylor is the UK’s leading supplier of turf maintenance products for the sports and amenity sectors under its market leading Mascot brand. The company counts sport’s most iconic venues including Old Trafford, Twickenham, Chelsea Football Club and Lord’s Cricket Ground and the nation’s leading golf courses as its clients.

Rigby Taylor, which employs 110 people distributes throughout the UK from facilities in Bolton, Guildford and Edinburgh and works alongside the country’s leading groundsmen and greenkeepers to help keep grass supporting surfaces in their best possible condition. In 2010, Rigby Taylor recorded annual revenue of £23m.

Dublin-based Origin Enterprises PLC has leading market positions in the supply of feed ingredients, specialist agronomy services, crop nutrition and marine proteins and oils. The firm, which recorded annual revenues of €1.34billion in 2010, has operations in Ireland, UK, Norway, Poland and Ukraine, and aims to provide sustainable and profitable food production solutions for primary producers.

The Clearwater Support Services team, that originated the deal, managed the auction process for the company and facilitated the introduction of Rigby Taylor to Origin Enterprises PLC, comprised partner Paul Jones and director Nick Horrocks.

Paul Jones, partner at Clearwater, said: “Rigby Taylor is the leading player in its industry and provides the perfect platform for Origin Enterprises to enter the sports and leisure sector. The businesses have closely aligned strategies and business models and are set to take advantage of the exciting growth prospects and opportunities that are emerging in the UK and abroad for amenity and agriculture services.

The transaction represents a further success for the Clearwater Support Services team and adds to our portfolio of deals in the wider agronomy and amenity sectors both of which we have long identified as exciting areas for corporate activity.

The acquisition further demonstrates that cross-border deals will continue to play a key role in the UK M&A market in 2011 as foreign buyers eye up attractive opportunities to build their businesses in the UK.”

Andrew Robinson, Managing Director of Rigby Taylor, said:“We are excited at the opportunities presented to us by this tie-up with Origin Group. It is an ideal base from which to build a platform to improve our market share in the UK and we are keen to prove that Origin has made the right decision in putting their confidence in us to make them the best amenity turf products supplier in Europe”

Philip Treanor, Simon Moulden, Tom Hall and Katie Simpson at Pannone LLP were legal advisers to the Rigby Taylor shareholders on the transaction.

Philip Treanor said: “We are delighted to advise the shareholders of Rigby Taylor. The two companies have excellent synergies and are well placed to capitalise on growth potential in the amenity turf market.”