Focus Management Group

Agriculture Industry Experience

Greenhouse Grower and Plant Producer

Company:

Greenhouse Grower and Plant Producer

Situation:

A greenhouse grower and wholesaler of plants and floral products, serving primarily “big box” retailers in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic U.S. was proposing to acquire one of the leading producers of flowering and specialty plants. The combination would create the fifth largest bedding plant supplier (based on acreage) with 142 acres of greenhouse space.

The acquiring Company believed the acquisition would provide a significant cash saving opportunity by reducing costs to produce through manufacturing of the growing medium used by the flowering plant producer. The companies shared many of the same customers. They operated, however, in different geographical locations with virtually no overlap. Although management believed that operations could be successfully merged, the acquiring Company requested an independent view of the business combination involving management, customers, processes, etc.

Focus Scope:

Focus Management Group’s scope was to review the integration planning and process defined by management and to provide assistance throughout the acquisition process.

Tasks Performed:

  • Focus Professionals conducted a detailed integration assessment. This review included developing a plan to integrate management, growing practices, customer relationships, vendor relationships, and employment practices as well as accounting and plant growing software applications.
  • Focus recommended a management structure to accommodate varied geographic locations and management capabilities and strengths, developed a capital expenditure plan to address operating inefficiencies in the plant producer’s soil production line, and developed a process improvement plan to address the working environment and disorganized and unsanitary factory conditions.
  • A sales and marketing plan was also developed to closely align the Company’s ability to deliver product at the appropriate time to customers.

Results:

  • After completion of the integration plan, the equity sponsor determined the risk of failure was not adequately offset by the potential increased profits. Without Focus’ review and plan development, the acquiring Company would have undertaken a highly risky roll up.
  • Shortly after the decision was made to delay the acquisition past another growing cycle (3 months), the target lost one of its major customers due to the disorganization and production line problems identified in the Focus review.
  • The acquiring Company remains a highly successful producer, while the target Company has since been disbanded.
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