Armstrong Garden Centers buys Pike Nurseries locations

An Atlanta bankruptcy court has ruled that Armstrong Garden Centers, the 34-unit chain of California nurseries, can purchase 15 locations of Pike Family Nurseries for $5.2 million. The March 2 decision, handed down in the Northern District of Georgia court, came after an auction where several bidders walked away with pieces of the 50-year-old company.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Pike Nurseries was the largest family owned garden center chain in the country. At one time, the company had 25 locations and annual revenues of $100 million. In 2004, second-generation owner Randy Pike sold a majority stake in the company to Roark Capital Group, a private equity firm, but stayed on as president and CEO.

Pike Nurseries, which also ran a wholesale growing operation, filed for bankruptcy last November, citing drought conditions as a contributing factor.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., Armstrong Garden Centers is the largest chain of independent nurseries, with two locations in Northern California and the remainder in the southern portion of the state. Company CEO Mike Kunce was in Atlanta and unavailable for comment, according to an Armstrong spokesperson.

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