Turf management firm sold for £10.2m

A BOLTON-based turf management firm whose products help maintain football pitches at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge has been bought for £10.2m by Dublin’s Origin Enterprises.

Rigby Taylor, employs 110 people at Bolton, Guildford and Edinburgh, supplies fertilizers and other products to groundsmen. It is owned by Peter Gaskell and Hugh Hedley who each hold 50%.

Origin has agreed to pay an initial £9.2m with a further £1m due if the firm hits profit targets. In the year to November the firm made an operating profit of £1.5m on sales of £22.7m.

AIM-listed Origin is a supplier of feed ingredients, specialist agronomy services, crop nutrition and marine proteins. Last year it had sales of £1.1bn.

Rigby Taylor’s managing director Andrew Robinson 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 Manchester law firm Pannone acted for Rigby Taylor’s shareholders. Clearwater Corporate Finance advised Origin.

Mr 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.”

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