Staff at Huddersfield garden centres earmarked for sale are worried about keeping their jobs, claims one employee.
All 145 Wyevale garden centres across the UK – including the ones at Birchencliffe and Shelley – have been put on the market by private equity company Terra Firma just three years after they were bought.
Now an employee at one of the local sites said employees – many of them older workers, including some in their 70s – were worried about their jobs.
Property agent Christie & Co has been appointed to advise on the sale of the business, which employs about 6,000 people.
Wyevale acquired the garden centres at Birchencliffe and Shelley from owners William Armitage and his parents Diana and Alistair Armitage in July, 2015.
Commenting on the latest news, the employee said: “The last time the business was sold there were job losses and many of us fear that it will happen again.”
A spokesperson for Wyevale Garden Centres said: “Our colleagues are at the heart of our business and have been an integral part of our turnaround strategy. We believe that any future owner will see the value in our colleagues.”
Announcing the move to put the Wyevale sites on the market earlier this week, Steve Rodell, at Christie & Co, said: “The sale of Wyevale Garden Centres presents a unique opportunity for a wide range of buyers from financial institutions, existing garden centre operators, independent business people and entrepreneurs to buy well-invested local garden centres within the price range of £200,000 to £35m.
“Financial institutions will be attracted to a strong business that is a platform for consolidation of the sector.”