Friendly take-over looks to ex­pand turf mar­ket

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Team Work - By Chris Price

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

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