Garden Centre Group has been acquired by private equity firm Terra Firma in a deal that values the business at £276m.

The retailer, formerly known as Wyevale, was formerly put up for sale in August by its main lender Lloyds Banking Group.

The deal with Terra Firma is expected to complete in April. The current management will remain at the helm.

The Garden Centre Group comprises 129 centres, making it the largest  specialist garden centre operator.

The retailer said that since taking over in 2008, the management team has “executed a significant turnaround of the business through careful management of the supply chain with a focus on product sourcing within the UK”.

Rothschild acted as the financial advisor to The Garden Centre Group and Lloyds Banking Group.

The Garden Centre Group chairman Andrew Sells said: “Several months ago, our shareholders took the strategic decision to realise their investment in The Garden Centre Group. I am glad that the uncertainty over the future ownership of the business is now resolved.

“The management team already had a proven track record of running highly successful garden retailing businesses and, since joining the Group, they have brought real horticultural focus to the Group.

“This has been borne out by the trading results, which have seen revenues and profitability improved despite tough retailing conditions in the last few years, and a significant improvement in staff morale.”

The Garden Centre Group chief executive Nicholas Marshall said: “The achievements of the past three years bear testament to the commitment of our staff to a strategy of taking this business back to its roots – horticulture.

“We are looking forward to working closely with the team at Terra Firma to realise The Garden Centre Group’s potential through our combined expertise and further investment.”

Guy Hands, Terra Firma chairman and chief investment officer, said: “The Garden Centre Group has enormous potential, and we see considerable opportunity to help it grow through focussed, strategic investment.”

“Working with the management team, we want to establish TGCG’s centres as the UK’s favourite retail destinations for gardening and garden-related leisure. 

“With plants at the heart of the business, TGCG will offer the highest quality and choice of garden products, backed-up by the best customer service.”