A Pearson Holdings Ltd (APS), one of the biggest tomato growers in the UK, has been acquired by sustainable energy and agritech specialist P3P Partners group.
The Pearson family which owned the company, and other former shareholders, have sold 80% of the business to P3P for an undisclosed sum, giving the business access to additional funding to expand and move into other areas of fresh produce.
Current APS CEO Mark Pearson will continue to run the business day to day. Paul Allen, who has made significant investments in food industry companies in the UK and America, has joined the board as executive chairman. “The partnership and investment with P3P will help us to drive the APS brand and support plans for new areas of growth,” said Mr Allen.
APS was established in 1949 in Alderley Edge, Cheshire as A Pearson & Sons. It has developed particularly fast over the last 20 years or so, making several acquisitions of other well-known nurseries and driving much of the industry’s innovation. It now operates 70ha of glass across seven sites, growing peppers, cucumbers and aubergines as well as tomatoes, and had a turnover of £100 million in 2022.
“Being part of a family-run business meant I was keen to ensure we found the right partner to take the company to the next level,” said Mark Pearson. “This is an exciting next step for the business, and we look forward to the future with confidence and enthusiasm. It’s very much business as usual for everyone involved in APS.”
P3P was founded in 2011 developing projects in the energy sector. It built and now operates more than 70MW of CHP on a range of UK sites, including eight nurseries and two vertical farms.