Clearwater International advises the shareholders of Stewart Group on its sale to Keter Group


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Clearwater International has advised ECI Partners-backed Stewart Group (Stewart), a leading brand in the garden and outdoor decorative market, on its cross-border sale to BC Partners-backed Keter Group BV (Keter), a leading global supplier of resin consumer products for the home and garden.

Stewart is the UK brand leader in the gardening grow-your-own sector, decorative planter’s category and a leading supplier of professional quality catering products to commercial kitchens, food retail and hospitality sectors. With 70 years of brand and manufacturing heritage, Stewart is present in almost all UK garden centres, with a total distribution of over 1,600 outlets across the UK.

Keter, with a presence in more than 90 countries worldwide, offers a broad portfolio of quality resin consumer products across market leading sheds and storage boxes, furniture, tool and hardware storage, and home solutions.

Both businesses will continue to be managed by their current leadership teams and news on future plans will be shared as they develop.

The Clearwater International team was led by Partner and International Head of Consumer Gareth Iley, with support from Senior Associate Mark Gillingham and Associates Haseeb Shah and Louise Hooper.

Lee Mellor, Head of Europe, Keter commented: “As a combined company, we will have the resources and capability to provide our customers with an unmatched offer, consisting of an innovative product portfolio, a stable of enviable market leading brands, and a service promise that will be strengthened by our extended manufacturing footprint and enhanced supply chain capabilities into the garden centre channel.”

Andy Burns, Managing Director, Stewart added: “We are excited to become a part of the highly respected Keter organisation, it creates significant growth opportunities for Stewart. Together, we have the capability to accelerate our market leading presence in our core garden and catering categories through greater product innovation and access to resources that come from being a part of a global organisation.”

Eleanor Blagbrough, Director, ECI, commented: “It has been a pleasure partnering with Andy and his team over recent years, investing into a market-leading business to enable further growth. We wish everyone at Stewart every success as they join the Keter Group and we look forward to watching as the business continues to prosper. Thanks to Clearwater for their support in this transaction.”

Gareth Iley, Partner, Clearwater International commented: “Stewart is a well-established business with an outstanding management team, which is evident from its leading position within the market. It’s a positive sign to see that strong British brands are still highly attractive to international acquirers, who are looking for new product lines and distribution channels.”