Genesis Private Equity is pleased to announce its purchase of McGrath Nurseries Ltd, one of New Zealand’s largest and most successful fruit tree nurseries.

Genesis has purchased the nursery business, which is a major supplier of apple, pear, peach, nectarine, plum, apricot and cherry trees to commercial growers all around the country.

McGrath Nurseries grows more than 90 per cent of cherry trees and more than 75 per cent of apricot trees planted in New Zealand; and is one of two major New Zealand apple tree nurseries, growing a significant proportion of this country’s apple trees.

John Rolleston, Chairman of Genesis says “the acquisition of McGrath Nurseries is an excellent opportunity for Genesis to be involved in and support New Zealand’s horticultural sector which is experiencing sustained growth. McGrath Nurseries is a leading business, with a strong reputation for excellence across all levels of the organisation. We are pleased to also have an ongoing and working relationship with McGrath’s founder, Andy McGrath.  This is a fantastic New Zealand success story and Genesis is looking forward to being part of the next chapter.”

Founder Andy McGrath will retain his varietal development and intellectual property ownership businesses and stay on as a director of the new nursery company – McGrath Nurseries 2019 Ltd.

“When I decided to sell the nursery business, I spent considerable time considering the best options for all stakeholders, and I carefully selected Genesis Private Equity based on their values, solid focus on New Zealand ownership and their proven track record of governance and excellent management skills,” says Andy McGrath.

Dr Peter Crow will chair the new company’s board. He holds a doctorate in corporate governance and strategy and is a Wellington-based director and advisor with an extensive record of service to boards internationally. Peter will be joined by Genesis’ General Counsel, Leandra Fitzgibbon and Northland based professional director, Mike Simm.  Genesis’ Executive Director, Kieran O’Hagan, will be a director until such time as a fifth independent director is appointed.

Genesis has appointed Ben Curry as Chief Executive of McGrath Nurseries 2019 Ltd.  Ben will move from his position as Chief Executive at Rangitata Diversion Race Management to take up the McGrath role.

“Genesis invests New Zealanders’ funds in New Zealand businesses. It invests in solid, profitable businesses that welcome an investor bringing commercial expertise at governance level, as well as capital. It looks for companies with experienced management, consistent and growing profitability, and a strong economic foundation for future growth.  McGrath Nurseries is a successful business that ticks all those boxes,” says John Rolleston.

McGrath Nurseries 2019 will continue delivering quality fruit trees to the growing New Zealand market, with a strong focus on growth and the opportunities presented by New Zealand’s fast growing horticultural sector.

McGrath Nurseries is the fifth business that Genesis Private Equity has invested in through its funds.

Click here to read the latest article in The Orchardist – August 2019

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