Irwin Mitchell Helps Water Plants Grower Stay Afloat

Retailer Retains Presence In Yorkshire


By David Shirt

A specialist Yorkshire hydroponic product retailer has been bought out of administration by a national operator to retain a presence in the county.

Aquaculture Hydroponics was placed into Administration in July 2013, and Robert Dymond and Lisa Jane Hogg of independent insolvency practitioners, Wilson Field, were appointed as Joint Administrators.

Formed in 1996, Aquaculture Hydroponics - experts in growing plants in aquatic based, soilless environments - had operated from premises in Sheffield, Barnsley and Ripley.

However, before being placed into administration, the company closed its Barnsley and Ripley sites, leaving only the Sheffield facility on Parkway Drive.

Wilson Field worked closely with Aquaculture Hydroponics to restructure the company’s management team and supported its purchase by the GroWell Hydroponics Group, which has a head office in Warwick. The Restructuring team at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield advised the Administrators on the sale of the business, negotiating and completing the sale on their behalf.

GroWell Hydroponics is the UK's leading supplier of hydroponics and indoor gardening equipment and has seven stores across the country. The Sheffield site will be the group’s first in Yorkshire.

Gillian Pastuch, a solicitor from Irwin Mitchell’s restructuring team, added: “We are very pleased to have had a role both in saving the business of the company and in saving a number of local jobs. We wish the GroWell Hydroponics Group great success with the future of the Sheffield store.”

Robert Dymond, insolvency practitioner at Wilson Field, said: “Following the closure of the Barnsley and Ripley premises, before Wilson Field were appointed, there was a definite possibility the Sheffield site would close too, which would have resulted in the loss of five jobs. 

“However, the company did have a long-standing reputation for selling specialist hydroponic products whilst also operating as a manufacturer and developer of plant nutrient and stimulant mixtures.

“Working with them throughout the administration process has allowed us to restructure its operations and oversee the purchase of the company’s assets, meaning the Sheffield site can remain open under the GroWell Hydroponics Group of stores.

“Barclays was the main lender and debenture holder throughout this process. In agreeing to the business restructure the bank suffered a financial loss, but their actions helped save five jobs.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Restructuring