Barenbrug UK acquires Watson Seeds

LinkedIn +

Grass-seed breeder Barenbrug UK has announced its acquisition of Watson Seeds, the specialist seed company based in Scotland that also comprises Seed Logistics and GroGreen.

Founded 33 years ago by third-generation seedsman Johnny Watson, the company is highly respected in the industry and enjoys a loyal customer following with its renowned ‘Castle’ range of seed mixtures.

“The sale of Watson Seeds, Seed Logistics and GroGreen to Barenbrug UK reflects the long-standing strength of the relationship that exists between these businesses,” says Paul Johnson, managing director of Barenbrug UK.

“Barenbrug has long been one of the main seed suppliers to these companies and we are very closely aligned in ethos and values: family-owned businesses with the emphasis on integrity, quality and service, and focusing on the customer’s needs.”

Significant step

Mr Johnson says the acquisition is a significant step for Barenbrug’s UK operation. “By giving us a much stronger offering in Scotland, we will complement our existing geographies and strengthen our position across the United Kingdom.

“Watson Seeds has an established on-farm trials and variety observation programme, which when combined with our own Scottish variety trials programme will considerably enrich our grass-breeding programme.

“We already have two new varieties on the Scottish Recommended List, but this acquisition will give added impetus to our efforts to further improve our varieties’ standing in the RL, just as we have done in England and Wales.”

Johnny Watson, founder of Watson Seeds, expressed his delight at the sale of the business to Barenbrug.

“This is a meeting of two likeminded companies known for their commitment to excellence in grass,” he says.

“Over my lifetime I’ve appreciated and respected the work of Barenbrug, and I’ve always thought that we would have the potential to be a great team together.

“It will very much be business as usual for Watson Seeds. Our ambitious plan for continued growth and development will benefit from access to the resources and support of the global Barenbrug group.”

“I’ve spent a long time on trial sites, assessing Barenbrug material to compare its performance against the rest. I’m increasingly encouraged by Barenbrug’s materials, and how its advances in grass breeding are so well suited to our farming environment.

“I’m delighted that we have a new, exciting chapter in our company, for the benefit of our customers and to meet the challenges and opportunities of our customers in the future,” he adds.

“Both of our families have a history within the herbage seed trade stretching for more than a century, I have nothing but heartfelt enthusiasm in seeing the business acquired by a company who truly understands our trade.”

Seed logistics

“I’m delighted that we’ve found an acquisition partner of Barenbrug’s calibre,” says Mark Sinclair, managing director of Seed Logistics. “The business has been a solid performer in recent years, and we can now look forward to further consolidating that growth with the support and backing of the global Barenbrug group.”

Barenbrug UK, Watson Seeds, Seed Logistics and GroGreen will continue to function as separate businesses and identities.

Share this story:

About Author