Flower power drives export business

5:00 AM Saturday April 4, 2015 Colin Taylor

Flowering delphiniums growing in a hot house at Dowdeswell Delphiniums, 692 Brunswick Rd, Wanganui.

A Wanganui-based horticultural business that grows and exports high quality delphinium seeds, flowers and plants has been placed on the market for sale along with its five hectare freehold property and a house.

“Dowdeswell Delphiniums is one of world’s top delphinium growing operations and is recognised as an innovative industry leader,” says Adrian van Dyk of Bayleys Palmerston North, who is selling the business at 692 Brunswick Road, Brunswick, for saleas a going concern by negotiation.

“The business is for sale as a going concern and the owners will also look to sell the land and buildings on which it operates including the house,” van Dyk says. “They are prepared to look at all options including leasing or selling part of the land or the whole of the land.

The 209 sqm house was built in 1987 and extended in 2007. It has three bedrooms, an office, open plan living downstairs, a separate living area upstairs and includes a four car garage.

The Brunswick Rd property encompasses three growing houses serving as a seed production ‘beehive’, plant and seed production houses, irrigated outdoor area and water tanks.

Van Dyk says the business performance figures over the last five years have shown an increasing upward trend in sales.

“In the year ending June 2013, gross profit and net profit were at the highest levels to date – reaching 74 per cent and 50 percent respectively of turn over which was $467,476 in 2013.”

After spending more than 30 years developing the business, owners Terry and Janice Dowdeswell are moving into retirement so have placed it on the market, van Dyk says.  “This business presents an opportunity for a new owner to take over a successful operation in delphinium plant breeding and hybrid seed production, and an extensive client base that includes major suppliers of flower seeds in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Canada and the United States,” he says.

“There is also significant potential to take the business to the next level. A new owner could extend the operation by developing new product lines and enhancing the existing ones.”

Van Dyk says Dowdeswell’s has already developed several new products that are available to be launched onto the market and are expected to expand production. These include individual colours of short-stemmed potted delphiniums, a range of specialist varieties for the cut flower trade, new standard garden varieties, dwarf and short garden varieties, and fragrant delphiniums – which are a new innovation.

692 Brunswick Rd, Brunswick, Wanganui - delphinium seedlings in hot house.jpg

Young delphinium plants in pots within a hot house at Dowdeswell Delphiniums. Wanganui. 

“The Dowdeswells are willing to provide an extensive handover to allow for a smooth transition, so a new owner will be able to benefit from their knowledge and expertise as long-time business owners,” says van Dyk.

The Dowdeswells established the business to meet a gap in the market for high-quality cut flower and garden delphiniums. “Since then they have built a business that supplies a niche market,” says van Dyk. “A strong focus has been put into breeding, acquiring and training quality personnel, developing robust market relationships, branding and promoting their products and being innovators in the industry.”

The operation supplies seeds, and plants to businesses, private buyers and nurseries, and currently produces 20 different varieties with a wide range of colours. The breeding and seeding season runs from November until May, with plant sales from July to September and seed sales year round.

“Dowdeswell’s plant varieties stand out as a superior product to its competitors across a number of measures including colour range, colour depth and richness, they longevity of flowers, robustness, climate range, growth reliability and flower size and form. These factors are central to the success of this business, which has built a strong reputation for its high-quality products,” says van Dyk.

The enterprise has won a number of international awards including, Gold Award at the Ellerslie Flower Show Gold Award in 1995; Perennial Plant of the Year, Netherlands, in 2008; and Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, England in 2009.

Van Dyk says the long history of Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums andits multiple awards, makes it a very desirable purchase for someone looking to enter the industry sector or grow through acquisition.

 “With a range of new varieties scheduled to be introduced over the next few years, seed sales are expected to also increase within the next two years. A strategic plan is also in place to move into the Japanese and Colombian markets.”

World floriculture trade, including delphinium sales, reached $27 billion in 2013 and demand continues to grow.

A multi award-winning business, the vision for Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums’ remains the same as when the business was started 32 years ago, said Mr van Dyk: “To be market leaders in the development, sale and distribution of delphinium varieties to multiple clients in multiple markets”.