Ecke Ranch Buys Oglevee’s

June 30, 2006 - 08:51

Ecke Ranch announced last week that it would acquire Oglevee's business effective later this month. The two companies are working to integrate their production, sales, marketing, breeding and Oglevee’s patented CVI clean stock system.

“It’s a great fit,” Paul Ecke III, CEO of Ecke Ranch, told GPN. Oglevee’s “product line is very complementary to ours.”

Ecke added that a big attraction was the addition of geraniums to Ecke’s offerings. Prior to the acquisition, “geraniums had been a hole in our product line,” but that won’t be the case in the future, said Ecke. He added the purchase would allow the company to gain significant geranium market share, “but it didn’t change [the overall geranium] market too much in a super-disruptive way.”

Ecke also said this purchase would serve both companies’ customers better, with a broader product line and expanded operational and sales capacity. “Oglevee’s strong brand together with its world-renowned reputation for clean stock management complements and enhances Ecke Ranch’s existing products,” said Ecke. “It is really important to us to retain all of Oglevee’s customers,” he said. “One of our goals is that there is no impact to the customers.”

“With this acquisition, Ecke [Ranch] will be integrating a time-proven, expert production and delivery system of certified clean stock cuttings,” Ecke said. He added that the company is already working to “leverage all of our current systems” and integrate them into the Oglevee facilities.

According to Ecke, this acquisition makes Ecke Ranch the only North American-based company breeding and producing geraniums and poinsettias. “We are going to try and move quickly but not recklessly. Our general approach to the entire breeding program is we are not going to change anything on day one. We are going to evaluate everything and decide over time what to focus on.”

Ecke also told GPN he was excited about the possibilities with Floranova. For the past few years, Oglevee has had a close relationship with Floranova — co-owning a breeding station in Lompoc, Calif., and sharing genetics. If this relationship continues after the sale, Ecke could have access to a full seed line for the Flower Fields.

Commenting on the purchase, Oglevee Ltd. President Lou Schenck said, “By leveraging Ecke’s offshore production expertise, logistics and sales and marketing strength, Oglevee’s customers will realize enhanced service and value as well as increased access to significant new products in the future.”

Ecke said the deal did not involve the purchase of any of Oglevee’s real estate holdings. This transaction includes Oglevee’s products, breeding programs and clean stock systems. Oglevee’s production facilities will continue to be independently owned and operated by Oglevee Ltd., and they will continue to support the supply of quality rooted cuttings and clean stock available through Ecke’s sales and distribution systems.

Ecke said both companies are committed to an orderly transition of the business over the next couple of months. “It should be a seamless transition with no customer impact.”

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