May 2011: In this year’s largest garden centre transaction to date, Gilbert Evans was appointed to advise Shoots Garden Centres in respect of the sale of its 3-centre group to Squire’s Garden Centres. Shoots owned a garden centre in Washington, West Sussex and leased two centres at Stanmore, Middlesex and Cobham in Surrey. The acquisition now means that Squire’s operates 14 garden centres through the south-east of England.

Piers Mummery, former Managing Director of Shoots, comments:

“The sale of the business was far from straightforward with Shoots owning one site and leasing two additional sites. Negotiations therefore had to take place between an unusually large number of stakeholders as the requirements of the two landlords also had to be taken into consideration. Given the time of year, it was always going to be tricky in completing the deal in mid spring and having the resources of Gilbert Evans was key in keeping matters on track and focussed.

Confidentiality was key during a prolonged period. For a number of months Gilbert Evans developed a comprehensive understanding of our business and objectives in order to give detailed and proper advice and the actual marketing and negotiations also had to be extremely discreet. But all parties were convinced that the two businesses offered a perfect fit and the advice, market knowledge and support from Gilbert Evans played a major role in the deal reaching a successful conclusion in early May this year”.