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Written on March 10.2021

CambridgeHOK joins Atrium Agri

CambridgeHOK are pleased to announce a significant change within their ownership structure, with the existing shareholders (Ross Hibbs, John Holland and Steve Hinch) selling the business to new owners.

Atrium Agri alongside the existing management team of Patrick Harte and Louis Bradley have purchased the CambridgeHOK Group; consisting of Cambridge Glasshouse, CambridgeHOK Construction and Hotbox International. Over the last 5 years, the business has seen significant levels of growth with the business now employing over 70 people. In 2020, the group achieved an aggregate turnover of c.£35m.

Pictured is the British greenhouse farming project Beeswax Dyson Farming, one of the most recent works involving both Atrium participants and CambridgeHOK.

Atrium Agri is building a global consortium of significant companies who are leading in their field of experience. The company has been founded based on the idea that market development should not only come from external investors, but should be driven by specialists that know the market; and so create synergy between the participating companies. Atrium Agri consists of Havecon, VB, Pb Tec, BOM Group, VEK Adviesgroep, and now CambridgeHOK. The group offers unparalleled levels of technical skill across all aspects of horticultural engineering and have a combined turnover of +/- €350M in 2020. Atrium group members will provide their international customer base advanced horticultural solutions in almost every major market.

Patrick Harte joined the CambridgeHOK Management team in early 2020, as Head of Commercial. He is a well-known UK horticultural figure having previously Chaired the British Tomato Growers Association, alongside managing an 18 hectare tomato site which was, later converted to cannabis production. Louis Bradley has led the CambridgeHOK Construction business since 2014 during which he has grown the business significantly and it now contributes up to 15% of the consolidated turnover.

The latest addition of CambridgeHOK further cements Atriums offering to the UK market. CambridgeHOK not only provides a full turn-key offering for the glasshouse sector but has also built world-leading Vertical Farming facilities and is the leading engineering company for cannabis production within the UK. The breadth of Cambridges skills will allow Atrium improved solutions across the world.

Henk Verbakel of Atrium shared “Havecon has worked with CambridgeHOK for over a decade, and I have seen the business grow into a world-class turn-key business. We see significant growth in the UK Market and believe that the Atrium group can offer the customers of CambridgeHOK the best solutions available globally”.

Henk continued to say “We are really pleased that Patrick and Louis have decided to join us in our vision, they are two highly talented individuals and will run the business on a day-to-day basis. At Atrium we are here to support them and ensure they remain at the forefront of UK horticultural engineering”.

Future plans
Edward Verbakel of Atrium confirms the intent to further expand into the international markets “CambridgeHOK will bring long term practical experience in the UK market to our group with which we can further unroll our international ambitions”.

Koen Brabander of Atrium: “We are proud that CambridgeHOK has chosen Atrium in their next steps towards a very bright future. The uncertainties of Brexit, the shared vision and the expanded market force, ensures that all members of the Atrium group, as well as their customers will benefit from this decision”.

Patrick Harte said “Having previously been a customer of CambridgeHOK, I always had tremendous respect for the business and the solutions that it offers its customer base. The alignment with the Atrium Agri group is perfect and I believe this will allow us to provide the best solutions within the UK marketplace. The business has always held long-term relationships with our customers and long-term key suppliers, and this will continue to remain at the heart of how we want to operate as a business”.

He continued to say “We have such a talented team of people at CambridgeHOK and the knowledge that Atrium will allow us to access will help us to find even better solutions for our customers”.

Louis Bradley said “I am delighted to be part of the new organisation; the business has grown significantly over the last few years and being part of the Atrium group gives us access to significant levels of additional support to complement our existing supplier base. We see huge potential within the UK market and the timing for this is perfect”.

Previous owner John Holland stated “We believe that now is the right time for the business to continue its next evolution under new ownership. We believe we have built a very solid business with an excellent team of people behind it. We can see that the UK market is changing significantly and the new ownership structure for the business will give access to an even greater skill set ensuring we can continue to support the UK Horticultural Industry”.

John continued to say “We are remaining in the business for the next two years to ensure a smooth transition to the new owners and look forwards to working with them to continue to grow the business. We also want to say a huge thank you to the talented team of people that work in the business and have helped us to develop a business we are very proud of”.

At the same time as the takeover of CambridgeHOK, Atrium Agri is also introducing its new website and corporate identity with the slogan "Connected through Ambition", which is in line with the group's objective to further connect with each other and within the horticultural sector. Take a look at 

Source: HortiDaily March 10.2021 

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