Friendly take-over looks to expand turf market
A manufacturer and distributor which supplies turf fertiliser to seven of the nine Open Championship courses has been sold to a US giant in the field.
Farmura Environmental, based in Ashford, has been bought by Aquatrols Corporation of America, a global manufacturer of technology for turf and crop production businesses.
The “friendly” acquisition is seen as the next step in expansion plans for Farmura, which has been Aquatrols main distributor in the UK since 2007.
The US firm aims to use Farmura to grow in Europe and expand the Kent company’s existing and future product lines into new markets.
Aquatrols president Tracy Jarman said: “Our close relationship with Farmura has been central to our impressive growth in Europe over the past seven years.
“We are excited to officially bring the Farmura staff and product line into the Aquatrols family as we continue to change the way the world grows.”
All Farmura and Aquatrols staff will be maintained following the acquisition.
Farmura’s managing director and owner Jonathan Harmer will continue to lead the company in the UK, which mainly supplies golf and sports clubs, including Royal St George’s in Sandwich, which hosted the Open in 2011. Mr Harmer said: “When my father took over the company in 1971, he envisioned a strong, ethical company supplying balanced management techniques and environmentally conscious solutions for the agricultural, horticultural and amenity industries.
“The opportunity with Aquatrols is the natural development of our current partnership, and will allow us to expand into areas faster and more effectively than we could otherwise have done.”
Maidstone-based law firm Brachers was the lead in the t r ansaction, with Reeves accountants as lead advisers.
Head of corporate James Bul- lock said: “We were delighted to advise the shareholders of Farmura Environmental on its successful sale to Aquatrols.
“The parties had worked closely together since 2007.
“Their shared values and goals have helped both businesses to grow.
“In many ways, this transaction is the culmination of the hard work of all concerned since 2007 and is the start of a very exciting time for both businesses.”
Rory McIlroy at the 10th hole during the Open at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, in 2011