According to Grower's Talk Acres Online, Hines Nurseries has emerged from bankruptcy again. According to Steve Thigpen, CEO, " we've got a stronger balance sheet, we’ve got the money we need to operate, and we’re getting ourselves back together.” Let's see, where have we heard that before, oh yea here. In 2009 we quoted Mike Trebing after their first bankruptcy saying, "As a company we are returning to our core values and business philosophies which thecompany has been built upon over the last 90 years,’ Trebing says. ‘As an outcome of the bankruptcy, Hines has emerged with one of the cleanest balance sheets in the nursery business." According to the same Acres Online article, Color Spot who is the chief supplier of color for the box stores has, "signed a letter of intent to lease two Hines Growers (formerly Hines Nurseries LLC) facilities in Chino Valley, Arizona, and Houston, Texas. The deal is expected to close in June, and is for an undisclosed length of time..."
Steve Thigpen of Hines also said, "We’re just focusing back on the core business itself, and on those things with which we’ve always done well, which is nursery goods, perennials, specialty products and patio products. This puts cash back in our hands to really drive the remaining businesses. And it gives us a future revenue stream as well, with the leases. Good luck to Color Spot with those sites; I think they’ll do well. And I think we’re doing the right thing for us.”
We have talked about the diverging interests of the nursery industry for quite awhile here. There are two separate industries developing, the box stores and their suppliers like Color Spot and Hines. The other industry is the locally owned, independent garden center and their suppliers. Now that Hines has stopped growing color that leaves Color Spot with the market. It was interesting to read the disclaimer from Color Spot president Jerry Halamuda who said, "This isn’t an acquisition with Hines, it isn’t a merger with Hines. … It’s very simply: We’re at capacity, we’re continuing to build greenhouses and grade land, but this is an opportunity for us to pick up a first-class greenhouse facility in Arizona and in Texas.”
Now where would they get the idea that we would even think they we're merging?