Arena Online Ltd continues to build upon its best-in-class fulfilment and technology platform (Hyperion™) to support continued growth and efficiency and today announces the acquisition and merger of Patch Gardens Ltd (trading as Patch). Patch is a fast-growing and highly trusted consumer brand redefining gardening for the next generation and has already built a market-leading position. In 2022, it was recognised by Good Housekeeping as the best plant delivery service in the UK.
The acquisition adds one of the UK’s leading direct-to-consumer brands to a portfolio that already boasts the UK’s #1 rated ethical flower delivery company, ArenaFlowers.com, all powered by the organisation’s proprietary and market-leading fulfilment platform. The result of this acquisition is a business of unrivalled capability and scale in the delivery of cut flowers, plants and gifts.
The businesses are highly complementary, and the growth potential and synergies create significant opportunities to deliver value to the stakeholders of the enlarged group. Through the acquisition, Arena will gain the services of highly skilled members of the Patch leadership team, including founder and CEO, Freddie Blackett, who joins the new Arena group board as Chief Strategy Officer.
“We have long admired the Patch team and their development of a brilliant brand - the team, ably led by Freddie, shares our commitment to sustainability, quality and execution and brings complementary and hugely valuable skills to our enlarged business. Much of Arena’s recent development investment has been focused on building Hyperion™, our unique ecommerce and fulfilment technology platform for flowers, plants and gift delivery, and we are excited that Patch is strengthening the portfolio. We look forward to the unrivalled customer offering we will bring to market for flower senders and plant lovers alike.” said John Hackett, CEO of Arena.
The consolidation of the two businesses will be completed in the middle of this calendar year.
Freddie Blackett, CEO of Patch, commented: “Having known the Arena team for a long time, I have always been impressed by their growth, but even more so by their ambition. I’m thrilled to be partnering with John, Will and their team and am truly excited about what the partnership means for Patch, my colleagues and our customers. Delivering plants seamlessly to people is no mean feat and, despite having built a market-leading customer experience, I know that the fulfilment specialism and technology that Arena has developed will give us huge opportunities to go even further. This extends not only to what both our businesses do today but also to other categories where we believe that our unique combination of strengths can create a very material competitive advantage.”
The business plans to build on the newly combined strengths of fulfilment expertise and consumer brand development to grow into adjacent categories through organic expansion, channel development and further M&A and will continue to work with Ashcombe Advisors who were instrumental in facilitating this transaction. The group will remain focused on the UK market for the foreseeable future.
Will Wynne, serial entrepreneur and chair of the Arena group, added: “In troubled, times, Arena is delighted to get 2023 off to a flying start by announcing this totemic acquisition. I’m proud of John and Freddie for making this deal happen and I congratulate them both. Welcome to the team, Freddie! At Arena, we are focused on partnerships and deals that align with our customer vision: to provide the highest quality, most ethically sourced personalised gifts, at scale, and at fantastic prices, to all segments of the UK market. This strategy reflects our values and creates value for shareholders, customers and our teams. I’m also delighted to welcome several excellent senior leaders to the Arena leadership team. I believe this deal marks an inflection point for the Arena group as we roll out our brands and B2B platform, Hyperion™. I’m also very happy to welcome Octopus Ventures and Forward Partners, amongst others, onto our cap table and look forward to the very material shareholder value we will all create together.”
Arena is one of the UK’s leading flower and gift delivery companies, fulfilling tens of thousands of flower deliveries each week on behalf of some of the best-known UK brands, as well as through its own direct-to-consumer brand, ArenaFlowers.com. The business is renowned for its attention to customer care, and for innovation in ethical supply chains, paying all staff a ‘Real Living Wage’, planting more than two million trees, removing green waste from landfill and achieving the #1 UK ethical flower delivery company rating for nine years running. Through its Hyperion technology and fulfilment platform, Arena delivers more than a million highly personalised gifts directly to UK customers each year.
The business was founded by serial entrepreneur Will Wynne, who also co-founded Smart (www.smart.co), a global retirement fintech providing workplace pensions to more than a million savers in the UK and around the world, and who is chair of Trulience (www.trulience.com), the world’s leading creator of interactive digital humans.
Patch Gardens Ltd was founded by Freddie Blackett in 2015 and, trading as Patch, has quickly grown to become the leading and best rated plant delivery businesses in the UK, serving more than 500k customers with more than two million successful deliveries. It has established a reputation for its excellence in quality, delivery, and value and offers customers an unrivalled after-care service ensuring that every customer can successfully become an urban gardener.