NatWest International in Guernsey has provided a further multi-million-pound lending facility to the Blue Diamond Group to enable them to acquire a portfolio of garden centres in the UK.
In July last year the Bank provided a loan facility to enable Blue Diamond to purchase nine garden centres from Wyevale Garden Centres. Recently, the Bank has agreed to increase the funding by a further £8 million, enabling the firm to acquire an additional seven garden centres from Wyevale.
Blue Diamond, which has its headquarters in Guernsey, is the second biggest UK garden centre operator and now has 37 garden centres across the UK and Channel Islands, including Le Friquet in Guernsey and St Peter’s Garden Centre in Jersey. It can trace its origins back to 1904 and is one of the Bank’s longest standing clients in Guernsey.
Joe Vasey, Head of Local Banking, NatWest International in Guernsey commented: “We were delighted to work with Blue Diamond in providing them with an additional borrowing facility to assist in their latest acquisition. In providing this, we were able to demonstrate our skill and speed in executing their lending request. It also illustrated how our locally based relationship teams understood both the Channel Islands and UK markets and could work collaboratively with our local credit team to co-ordinate the lending solution.”
Richard Hemans, Blue Diamond Group Finance Director, added: “We are grateful for NatWest International’s continued support, which has enabled us to acquire these excellent garden centre assets for a very good price and which will drive profitable growth for many years. Due to the tight timescale we needed to be able to complete the transaction quickly, which NatWest International’s prompt support made possible. We recognise the confidence that this new funding demonstrates in Blue Diamond, particularly on the back of the larger acquisition we made in 2018, and the flexible, efficient funding solution we reached together certainly meets our objectives.”