Headquartered in Münster, Germany, COMPO is a leading European producer and distributer of gardening soil, fertiliser, lawn seed and products for plant protection with a focus on organic ingredients.
Founded in 1956 and part of the international Kingenta Group since 2016, COMPO is one of the top ten strongest product brands in Germany and this year secured 6th place in the ‘Best Overall Brand’ category at the prestigious Best Brands Marketing Awards.
Recognising the strong growth in gardening and the accelerated trend of eco-friendly products, private equity group Duke Street Capital has acquired the business and will support COMPO’s strong management team in building and consolidating its position across Europe.
Paul Adams and the Duke Street team approached Directorbank to identify a Chair who could support the buyout. Uniquely positioned with teams in the UK and Germany, directors Dorothea Kronenberghs and Simon Thomas were asked to identify potential candidates with significant international FMCG experience, a track record in working with private equity, and a clear understanding of routes to market including DIY outlets, garden centres and e-commerce.
After a thorough examination of the Directorbank network, a strong short list of candidates from both the UK and Germany was presented to the client. Martin McCourt was offered the position.
Martin has spent over 40 years working at the heart of manufacturing, design and marketing. As CEO of Dyson for 15 years, Martin devised and implemented a strategy that transformed the company from a single product, single market producer into a market leader with 80% of the business coming from over 60 markets globally.
Martin’s previous experience was in sales and marketing for successful international companies including Mars, Duracell and Toshiba. Since 2012 he has built a strong track record in private equity firstly as an Operating Partner at Montagu Private Equity and more recently as Chair at a number of PE-backed businesses.
Commenting on the transaction, Martin said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Duke Street team on this deal. The management team, lead by Stephan Engster (CEO), is exceptionally strong and we are very much looking forward to working together.”