Rochford Garden Machinery acquired by Al-Ko Gardentech

Rochford Garden Machinery has been acquired by German manufacturer Al-Ko Gardentech and will continue with all divisions, staff and product lines remaining unchanged.

Both parties have agreed to confidentiality regarding the financial terms of the arrangement.

Rochford, based in Wincanton, Somerset, is one of UK´s leading garden machinery suppliers, both in imports and sales of domestic and commercial garden machinery. The family run business founded in 1976 in Bruton, Somerset, has been an importer of Al-Ko products for almost 15 years.

Elizabeth Rochford, wife of founder Peter Rochford, said: ‘We are pleased to have AL-KO Gardentech, our long-time partner, as our new owner, which helps us to take Rochford to a new level of profitability, sales and market penetration.

‘With this merger, we have taken the necessary steps and passed our business on to experienced hands to ensure sustainable future development for employees and customers.

‘We have every confidence in Al-Ko Gardentech that our company will be led into a stable future and that Rochford will remain a professional home for our employees. Furthermore, the management team around managing director, Stewart Anderson, will stay the same.’

Managing director of Rochfords, Stewart Anderson said: ‘This exciting acquisition gives us the opportunity to take our business to the next level and develop our portfolio of brands which include Al-Ko, DR, Mitox, and Weibang.

‘The company and its ranges will continue as they are, with the added benefit of developing new product categories from the Al-Ko company in new channels.

‘We are embarking on 10 dealer shows across the UK in September to showcase our new product ranges, technical updates, and competitive trade terms.’

Dr. Wolfgang Hergeth, chief operating officer of Al-Ko Kober, said: ‘We are pleased to be able to win Rochford, one of the strongest trading partners in the UK garden machinery market for the AL-KO Kober Group.

‘Like the acquisition of the New Zealand garden equipment manufacturer Masport last year, this investment is a clear signal for a strong future of Al-Ko Gardentech. The transaction significantly enhances our organic and inorganic growth targets and thus continues our positive business development over the last few years.

‘The good economic situation of Rochford shows a well-established and managed company. Services such as customer services, repair offerings or spare parts management fully meet the Al-Ko standard 'Quality for life'.

‘Rochford will now be able to continue its development under the modern entrepreneurial Al-Ko Kober Group and to provide customers with first-class and innovative products as well as service and support.

‘The entry into the British market is a logical consequence of the great market potential in specialist trade and DIY, the British affinity to online trade as well as significantly increased interest in robotic garden machinery. Thanks to its strong customer relationships on all channels, Rochford provides direct customer access to Al-Ko Gardentech, which gives further impetus for substantial growth in the UK.

‘With this merger, we will now be able to further develop the DIY and e-Commerce business and, at the same time, consistently force the innovations of smart gardening and future battery technologies. Within the corporate group, there is simply more development potential for Al-Ko Gardentech and Rochford. This acquisition offers a long term perspective for employees to work in a dynamic and fast growing business.’