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17 January 2020 | Retail

Retail: Christie & Co use Wyevale as a springboard into the Garden Centre market

Having successfully completed the sale of Wyevale Garden Centres at the end of 2019, Christie & Co plans to leverage its presence in the market and diversify its retail offer in 2020 and beyond, according to the latest annual report by specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co.

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The report, ‘Business Outlook 2020: Focus on Business’ reflects on the themes, activity and challenges of the previous year and forecasts what 2020 might bring across the sectors in which Christie & Co operates, including the Horticultural and Garden Centre market.

Retail transactions were dominated by the transformational sale of 145 Wyevale Garden Centres, the biggest sale of garden centre assets the UK has ever seen.  Over 40 agents throughout Christie & Co’s regional network were involved in brokering 57 individual transactions. The success of the project was underpinned by collaboration between Christie & Co’s project team, management, solicitors and the client to maximise net proceeds.

The carefully designed marketing campaign reached over 60,000 people and promoted an aggregate guide price of c. £444 million. The project generated an avalanche of interest in horticulture and beyond into the finance and real estate sectors. Twice as many offers were generated than Christie & Co typically see across its sectors, suggesting a strong appetite for the alternative investment market.

Christie & Co continues to speak with garden centre operators and prospective investors in garden centre market as a result of the project, giving them an opportunity to leverage their experience for the benefit of clients in 2020 and onwards.
 
Anthony Jones, Director Corporate Finance – Wyevale Garden Centres comments, “I have no hesitation in recommending Christie & Co to anyone in the Gardening sector. Their team were integral to the success of our sale process (Project Douglas). They were collaborative from day one, providing well founded and thoroughly researched initial advice and guidance that proved to be a strong foundation for the process.

“The initial marketing campaign was extremely well-planned and delivered buyer interest levels that surpassed all expectations with multiple interest on the vast majority of sites. Their skill set also helped the wider project team identify and work through a number of complex property issues and get transactions over the line.

“Having a regional network helped when we needed someone local to represent the client and their Finance division also came in useful on a few deals. They are a great team who really know their stuff and ultimately became a key part of our team.”

Steve Rodell, Managing Director – Retail at Christie & Co comments, “Our testimonial from Anthony Jones speaks for itself and we look forward to helping operators maximise the value of their assets whether they are selling, letting, acquiring or need a valuation to support refinancing. We have some exciting projects bubbling under and expect them to come forward early in the year.”