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Browne Jacobson advises on $80m acquisition of Bridge Farm Group

18 May 2020

Browne Jacobson has advised a consortium led by the former owner and CEO of Bridge Farm Group David Ball on the USD $80m (£66m) acquisition of the business from Alberta based cannabis producer and manufacturer Sundial Growers Inc.

The consortium is being backed by Artemis Growth Partners and includes current members of the senior management of Bridge Farm Group including Louise Motala, Andrew Higginson, Andrew Fuller and Richard Priestley. Following completion of the deal David Ball, a partner at Artemis Growth Partners, will re-join Bridge Farm as director of and advisor to the business.

Headquartered in Spalding, Bridge Farm was established over 30 years ago and is one of the UK’s leading producers of ornamental plants, flowers and edible herbs. The business serves a client base which includes, amongst others, major supermarket chains under the Neame Lea brand.

Artemis Growth Partners was founded by former senior executives at Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan, and Mesoamerica, and currently oversees US $200+ million in discretionary assets under management (AUM) in the global cannabis industry with investments across North and South America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Europe, Israel, and China.

The Browne Jacobson team was led by corporate finance partner Gavin Cummings, alongside Sandra Wong, Daniel Thomas, Jaspreet Sangra (Corporate) and Shaun McCabe and Patrick Berry (Banking). It is the third Bridge Farm Group transaction Browne Jacobson have acted on since 2017.

David Ball, operating partner and senior advisor at Artemis Growth Partners said:

“Bridge Farm is a forward-thinking, large scale producer of commercial horticultural produce that has been operating for over 30 years and is led by a proven and award-winning management team. I am delighted that we could close a transaction involving a business that I have known and run as a former CEO, and that I will now oversee at Artemis as an investment in our portfolio.

“Bridge Farm represents not only a company with deep ties to its community, its vendors, its customers, and its employees, but also an organization that is wholly-focused on driving principles of inclusion, developing and implementing regenerative business practices, and providing health and wellness leadership for a better society today and into the future. These values are what we hold close at Artemis and we are delighted that through this transaction we are able to provide stability to the company and a platform for its growth.”

Gavin Cummings, corporate partner, added:

“We are delighted to have acted on the largest European M&A deal in the horticulture sector this year. With David back at the helm, a first rate management team and the invaluable expertise and investment that Artemis brings to the table Bridge Farm is better placed than ever to grow its core business and take advantage of the commercial opportunities that plant-based medicine, including legal cannabis, offers within the expanding global health and wellness market.”

Clearwater International and KPMG also advised the UK transaction team with Pierce Atwood and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg advising the North American transaction team on the acquisition of Bridge Farm Group from Sundial Growers UK.

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