Costa Farms sells majority interest to investment company

Costa Farms logoMarkel Corporation and Costa Farms announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Markel to acquire a majority interest in Costa Farms and its related operating companies.
In a press release Markel positions Costa Farms which is headquartered in Miami, Florida (US) as the largest producer of ornamental plants in the world. “Founded in 1961 by Jose Costa, Costa Farms is a third-generation, family-owned business that stretches over 4,000 acres globally and employs nearly 5,000 people. Along with thriving indoor and bedding plant divisions, Costa Farms operates merchandising services and young-plant production divisions, with operations domestically in South and Central Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, and abroad in the Dominican Republic and Asia.
Speciality insurance products
Markel Corporation, Glen Allen, Virginia (US) characterizes itself as a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The company’s principal business markets and underwrites speciality insurance products. The financial goals of the company are to earn consistent underwriting and operating profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.
Through its subsidiary Markel Ventures, Markel makes investments in businesses that operate outside of the insurance marketplace. The Markel Ventures businesses operate with a high degree of autonomy and have the shared goal of positively contributing to the long-term financial performance of Markel Corporation.
Long term investment
Jose Smith, CEO Costa Farms, says in the press release: “This partnership with Markel allows us to partner with a company with similar goals and values. We share the same desire to win and provide solutions to our customers. Markel, through its subsidiary Markel Ventures, makes long term investments in high-quality companies.” Selling a majority interest in Costa Farms gives the nursery more liquidity and more options going forward to grow their business.
“The Costa family and their team have spent generations building a company that beautifies people’s lives and homes with millions of plants and garden flowers each year”, said Tom Gayner, Co-CEO Markel Corporation. “We love what they do and the way they go about doing it, and when they approached us looking for a partner to support the continued growth of this incredible company for future generations, we couldn’t have been more excited.”
Recent acquisitions of Costa
Earlier this year Costa Farms acquired Delray Plants, one of the leaders in the houseplant industry of the US. Founded in 1968 by Jake Koornneef, the Koornneef and Gilde families and the Delray team have built a rich legacy reflected in the company’s high-quality products and state-of-the-art production facilities. Delray Plants recently was recognized as the 14th largest grower in the United States.
Jose Smith, CEO of Costa Farms, mentioned that acquisition a unique opportunity. “Costa Farms has long admired Delray Plants and its contributions to our industry.” Smith says Delray has a diversified product line which adds significant synergies to our growing organization. “We are committed to the growth of our team and industry,” added Smith.
Just three years ago, Costa Farms acquired US based nursery: the Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses.