Belfast Telegraph

Westland buys Cranswick for £18m

By Amanda Poole

Westland Horticulture Ltd has acquired Cranswick Pet Products for £18m with finance from the Northern Bank.

The Dungannon-based gardening manufacturer says the new investment will enable it to diversify and achieve significant growth in the coming years.

After launching its Peckish bird feed product earlier this year, the purchase of Cranswick Pet Products, will see Westland Horticulture expand further into the wild bird feed market and move into the small animal markets.

Established in 1988, Westland Horticulture has built up a consolidated annual turnover of over £100m and employs 400 staff across its UK and Ireland operations.

While its core business is centred on growing peat and composts, the company has also developed a wide range of ancillary garden products such as lawn treatments and seed, plant food, weed killers and mulches.

Northern Bank corporate acquisition manager Rory Clarke praised its commitment to growth through diversification.

"Westland Horticulture is an excellent example of a company which is diversifying into new markets in a bid to grow further and this has never been more important, as local businesses strive to achieve sustainable economic recovery and growth," Mr Clarke said.

Westland Horticulture head of finance, Scott Dougherty, said the investment will further strengthen the company's position as one of the UK's fastest growing companies in consumer gardening, as it comes at a time when market share has hit a high of 33% and Cranswick Pet Products' sales have increased by more than 10% to over £41m in the past three years alone.