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Leading flower breeding and export business for sale in blooming industry

Tags: Commercial Palmerston North

A Wanganui-based horticultural business that breeds and exports world-class delphinium seeds, flowers and plants has been placed on the market for sale.


Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums is one of New Zealand’s top delphinium growing operations and is recognized as an innovative industry leader.

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 for sale with Bayleys. The business is being marketed for sale by negotiation by Bayleys Palmerston North salesperson Adrian van Dyk.

“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,” said Mr van Dyk.

“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.”

Dowdeswell’s has already developed several new products that are available to be launched onto the market and are expected to expand current production, said Mr van Dyk. 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 – a completely new innovation. “A new owner would also be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise cultivated by the long-time business owners, who are willing to provide an extensive handover to allow for a smooth transition,” said Mr van Dyk.

World floriculture trade, including delphinium sales, reached NZD $27 billion in 2013 and demand continues to grow. Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums’ gross profit has increased by 50 percent over the past three years to an average of more than $300,000 each year. 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”.

Located at 692 Brunswick Road, Wanganui, the property comprises three growing houses (a seed production ‘beehive’, plant and seed production house, and a growing house), irrigated outdoor area and water tanks.

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, said Mr 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

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and nurseries, and currently produces 20 different varieties and a wide rage 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, 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 a high-quality product,” said Mr van Dyk.

The operation 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.

The long history of Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums and its multiple awards, made it a very desirable purchase for someone looking to enter the industry sector or grow through acquisition, said Mr van Dyk.

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 percent and 50 percent respectively.

“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.”

For more information about Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums contact Bayleys Palmerston North salesperson Adrian van Dyk on 027 253 7483.

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