We were introduced to the owners of Grand Flower Growers (“GFG” or the “Company”), a grower and wholesaler of premium annuals, perennials, and other seasonal flowers and plants, in early 2020 to discuss liquidity options. At the time, the Company had grown from a single location selling products through a broker to a leading regional supply partner to The Home Depot in the highly attractive Chicagoland market. The shareholders wanted to understand their strategic options to monetize 20+ years of hard work. With Cascade’s help, the shareholders decided to pursue a sale or recapitalization to achieve their goals.
Optimizing Time to Market
To optimize the growth through their busy season and benefit from the resurgence in the capital markets, Cascade encouraged the owners to delay a go-to-market strategy until July 2021. The time allowed the Company to materially accelerate its growth while potential acquirers and partners returned to the market post COVID-19. As the spring and summer sales season came to an end, we took advantage of the downtime to complete our marketing preparation and identify a list of active potential partners.
Floriculture Proved to Be Pandemic Proof
We went to market in the fall of 2020 when deal activity began to accelerate following the initial concern over the Covid-19 pandemic. GFG delivered excellent financial results and we knew this resilience would receive a lot of attention from both financial and strategic buyers. While the pandemic negatively affected many businesses, demand for GFG’s products increased as more people sought to enjoy the outdoors and dig into gardening as a new hobby. The massive increase in people working from home, a trend predicted to stick even in a post-pandemic world, resulted in many new, loyal customers for GFG.
GFG completed a minority recapitalization with Main Street Capital Corporation (“Main Street”), which provided the owners with significant liquidity while retaining majority ownership in the Company. Main Street’s flexible capital and industry experience make it the perfect partner for GFG to accelerate growth and satisfy current and future liquidity needs. The minority recapitalization allows the owners to continue leading GFG to greater heights with the security of having monetized a portion of the Company.
Cascade Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to Grand Flower Growers.
For more information on the floriculture industry, please see our industry report.