Sale of the South Portland-based company follows years of steady growth
South Portland, ME – Grow-Tech LLC, a portfolio company of Anania & Associates Investment Company (AAI), has been sold to the Netherlands-based floricultural company Dümmen Orange, AAI announced today. Since becoming a portfolio company of AAI in 2010, Grow-Tech has doubled its workforce and grown by 700%. Grow-Tech started in a small factory in Lisbon Falls but is now based at a world-class 30,000 square foot facility in South Portland. In 2016, Grow-Tech was honored as South Portland’s Business of the Year.
“We at Anania & Associates are pleased to have been a part of Grow-Tech’s success throughout the years. They have added products and significantly increased sales during their time as one of our portfolio companies. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this innovative company,” said Peter V. Anania, President of AAI.
Grow-Tech engineers and manufactures soilless growing media from the highest quality organic peat, other organics and a proprietary foam binder. The company and its products got their start in the 1980s when Dole Foods was searching for a solution to improve their lettuce seeding operation. The collaboration of Dole and the company that would become Grow-Tech provided Dole with a technology initially developed by NASA.
Over its decades in operation, Grow-Tech has been a leader in the development of biobased growing media. In 2014 the company received a United States Department of Agriculture Grant to assist with the development of BioStrate, an industry-first growing medium. BioStrate is an environmentally friendly and fast-rooting option for commercial growers. It can be disposed of at a commercial composting facility instead of being disposed of in a landfill.
Grow-Tech continues to expand its product line and rolled out two major new offerings in 2016: Puregrown hemp-felt and the ZenPlug.
PUREgrown hemp-felt combines superior growing characteristics specifically formulated for the organic production of micro-greens, salad greens and wheatgrass. This OMRI-listed growing medium helps meet the need of growers for more sustainable growing methods as the healthy, local food movement continues to increase demand for greens.
The ZenPlug allows for easy transplanting of tissue culture starts and pre-rooted cuttings. Its unique design makes planting easy, but also helps to protect roots, allowing greenhouse workers to be more efficient without sacrificing the health of plants.
Grow-Tech’s range of stabilized growing media products are used by leading commercial growers and propagators in horticultural, forestry and hydroponics markets in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
“Grow-Tech is proud to already have a wide global reach, but with this acquisition, we will be able to further strengthen our position in the plug market as we join with an industry leader that operates on a global scale,” said Grow-Tech CEO Edwin Dijkshoorn.
Dümmen Orange is a global leader in the breeding and development of cut flowers and potted plants. With 7,000 employees and an even wider international reach, the company brings together top breeders under one brand to provide the world’s largest selection of superior flowers and plants. Dümmen Orange is committed to increasing sustainability, a mission which Grow-Tech’s products will help them to achieve.
Grow-Tech does not anticipate any major changes in day-to-day operation as a result of the acquisition. Employees and management will remain the same and Grow-Tech will remain independent in activities.
About Anania & Associates – A Maine-based Private Equity Firm
Anania & Associates Investment Company LLC (AAI) is a Maine-based and Maine-focused private equity firm that partners with management teams acquiring and building companies with a high potential for growth. Founded in 2008, the fund currently has 7 portfolio companies representing over 400 employees and $70 million in revenue. AAI is a long term, regionally-focused investor focused on supporting sustainable growth for Maine and its portfolio companies which include: Elmet Technologies LLC, Lighthouse Imaging LLC, MEGA Industries LLC, mWAVE Industries LLC, Synergistic Software Solutions LLC and TrakTec LLC.