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CambridgeHOK are pleased to announce the business is now under new ownership with current management team members Patrick Harte and Louis Bradley joining major new shareholders Atrium Agri in leading the business into the future.
Ownership has been successfully transferred from previous shareholders Ross Hibbs, John Holland and Steve Hinch, who owned the business from 2004 and have led it through a period of significant growth, particularly over the past five years.
Atrium Agri is building a global consortium of significant companies who lead in their field of experience. It was founded based on the idea that market development should not only come from external investors, but be driven by specialists who know the market, and so create synergy between the participating companies.
CambridgeHOK is the latest specialist business in the horticulture sector to be brought into the portfolio, joining Havecon, VB Group, PB Tec, BOM Group, and VEK Adviesgroep.
The group aims to provide unparalleled levels of technical skill across all aspects of horticultural engineering, serving an international customer base advanced horticultural solutions in almost every major market.
CambridgeHOK will be run day to day by Mr Harte and Mr Bradley. Mr Harte (Pictured top) joined the management team in early 2020 as Head of Commercial. He is a well-known UK horticultural figure having previously chaired the British Tomato Growers Association, alongside managing an 18 hectare tomato site which was later converted to cannabis production.
Mr Bradley (Pictured bottom) has led the CambridgeHOK Construction business since 2014 during which he has grown it significantly, now contributing up to 15% of the consolidated turnover.
They will continue to have the support of the former owners, who are set to stay with the business for the next two years at least.
Deal will ensure business ‘remains at forefront of UK horticultural engineering'
The addition of CambridgeHOK further cements Atrium’s offering to the UK market as the business not only provides a full turn-key offering for the glasshouse sector but has also built world-leading Vertical Farming facilities.
It is also the leading engineering company for medicinal cannabis production within the UK. The breadth of skills within the CambridgeHOK business will allow Atrium to offer improved solutions across the world.
Atrium shareholder Henk Verbakel, who is also CEO of Dutch commercial glasshouse specialist business Havecon, said “Havecon has worked with CambridgeHOK for over a decade and I have seen the business grow into a world-class turn-key business.
“We see significant growth in the UK market and believe that the Atrium group can offer the customers of CambridgeHOK the best solutions available globally.
"We are really pleased that Patrick and Louis have decided to join us in our vision, they are two highly-talented individuals and will run the business on a day-to-day basis. At Atrium we are here to support them and ensure they remain at the forefront of UK horticultural engineering”.
Koen Brabander, also of Atrium, added: “We are proud that CambridgeHOK has chosen Atrium in their next steps towards a very bright future. The uncertainties of Brexit, the shared vision and the expanded market force, ensures that all members of the Atrium group, as well as their customers will benefit from this decision”.
Mr Harte says being part of a successful, global group brings stability and promise of a bright future.
“This is great news for us as a business and for our employees as it brings stability and new opportunities for growth,” he said.
“Having previously been a customer of CambridgeHOK, I always had tremendous respect for the business and the solutions that it offers its customer base. The alignment with the Atrium Agri group is perfect and I believe this will allow us to provide the best solutions within the UK marketplace.
“The business has always held long-term relationships with our customers and long-term key suppliers, and this will continue to remain at the heart of how we want to operate as a business.
“Ross Hibbs, John Holland and Steve Hinch have led the business superbly, reflected by the excellent year we had in 2020 given all the challenges faced in a global pandemic.
“We are delighted to say that they will be offering their support and assistance for some time ahead as we adjust following the change in ownership, ensuring a smooth transition.
Mr Bradley added: “I am delighted to be part of the new organisation; the business has grown significantly over the last few years and being part of the Atrium group gives us access to significant levels of additional support to complement our existing supplier base.
“We see huge potential within the UK market and the timing for this is perfect”.
Previous owner John Holland said: “We believe that now is the right time for the business to continue its next evolution under new ownership. We believe we have built a very solid business with an excellent team of people behind it.
“We can see that the UK market is changing significantly and the new ownership structure for the business will give access to an even greater skill set ensuring we can continue to support the UK Horticultural Industry.
“We are remaining in the business for the next two years to ensure a smooth transition to the new owners and look forward to working with them to continue to grow the business. We also want to say a huge thank you to the talented team of people that work in the business and have helped us to develop a business we are very proud of”.
For more information on Atrium Agri go to www.atriumagri.com.