Temple Bright advises on sale of longstanding family business Turfsoil to Gavin Jones


Law firm Temple Bright has advised the shareholders of Sofnol Ltd, the parent company of grounds maintenance contractor Turfsoil Ltd, on the sale of Sofnol’s entire issued share capital to Gavin Jones Ltd.

First established in 1945 as a Ministry of Defence contractor, Turfsoil subsequently expanded its business to include all forms of grounds maintenance, with an emphasis on high profile sites such as parks, playing fields, historic estates, business parks and cemeteries.

Gavin Jones was founded in 1919 by Colonel Gavin Jones and has grown into an award-winning landscaping and grounds maintenance business which is one of the UK’s leaders in the sector.

John Newton, grandson of Turfsoil’s founder said: “It is always a wrench to sell a family-owned company, especially one with such a proud record of public service for over 70 years. However, with no family member to succeed, I am very happy to see the company pass into the safe hands of Gavin Jones Ltd, an organisation with very similar values and standards of service to our own. I am confident that those employees that have served me so well for so long are going to a good home, where their career prospects will be positively enhanced.”

Will Clark, managing director of Gavin Jones Ltd said: “We are delighted to confirm this, our latest acquisition. Turfsoil has forward orders of £20m to the end of 2025 comprising significant grounds maintenance contracts. With the added benefit of some exceptional people working within the business, we very much look forward to welcoming them to the Gavin Jones’ team.”

The sellers’ team was led by Turfsoil’s head of business development Laura Bellhouse, who worked closely with the legal team.

Temple Bright partner James Vickerman said: “It has been a real pleasure to work on this deal involving the coming together of two extremely reputable and long established firms. The process was facilitated by a very dynamic client team in Laura Bellhouse and John Newton. There are obvious natural synergies between Turfsoil and Gavin Jones and it will be exciting to watch the progress of the new merged business which benefits from their complementary strengths.”

Temple Bright was established in 2010 using a tech-enabled, streamlined business model and now has 51 partners with offices in London and Bristol. The firm has a particular focus on corporate finance work across a range of sectors. Despite rapid expansion and a growing number of PLC clients, the firm retains a major focus on advising the owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs for whom its model was originally designed.

This article appeared on the Press Box website on 13 October 2016.

James Vickerman
  • Corporate