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June 19, 2018

Merger gives South Portland's Grow-Tech expanded global reach

Courtesy / Quick Plug Global
Courtesy / Quick Plug Global
Quick Plug Global Managing Director John van der Maarel unveils the new brand identity for South Portland-based Grow-Tech Inc. and its two sister companies at GreenTech, a horticultural trades show in Amsterdam. Grow-Tech will now be known as Quick Plug North America.

Grow-Tech Inc., the South Portland-based producer of stabilized seeding and cutting media for professional horticulture, has merged with sister companies Quick Plug (located in Netherlands) and Omni Growing Solutions (Canada) to form Quick Plug Global.

The merger was announced last week, roughly a year after Grow-Tech was sold by Anania & Associates Investment Co. to the Netherlands-based floricultural company Dümmen Orange for an undisclosed price. The three merged companies are all owned by Dümmen Orange, a global leader in the breeding and development of cut flowers and potted plants, with more than 6,400 employees and an international reach.

The three merged companies and their brands — which bring together 75 years of industry knowledge and extensive product lines — will now utilize the Quick Plug name. Grow-Tech will now be known as Quick Plug North America.

Quick Plug Managing Director John van der Maarel announced the merger and new brand identity under the slogan "The evolution of roots" during the opening day of GreenTech, an annual trade show held in Amsterdam last week.

"This is an exciting day to be a part of the Quick Plug Global team," van der Maarell said in a news release. "By unifying all three companies, we will be able to better serve our customers across the globe while continuing to offering the same high-quality, stabilized substrates needed for healthy plant growth."

Peter Anania, whose marketing agency Anania Media coordinated the news release, told Mainebiz in a phone interview today that Grow-Tech's 30,000-square-foot facility in South Portland and its roughly 30 employees are an integral part of the new merged company's manufacturing operations. The merger, he said, offers opportunities for all three companies to expand their market reach and to achieve "a lot of back-end synergies" to enhance their bottomline.

Van der Maarel said the three companies' customers "can expect the same quality growing media and expert service that they have received previously."

"For the most part everything will stay the same," he said. "The innovations, quality and direct contact with our Netherlands, Canadian and United States based teams will remain unchanged.

In addition to its unveiling at the GreenTech event in Amersterdam, Quick Plug Global introduced its new brand and identity to its United States audience during Cultivate '18 in Cleveland, Ohio, last week.

About Quick Plug's Grow-Tech division

Courtesy / Quick Plug
Courtesy / Quick Plug
The new name for Grow-Tech Inc. is Quick Plug North America.

Honored as South Portland's "Business of the Year" in 2016, Grow-Tech engineers and manufactures soil-less growing media from the highest quality organic peat, other organics and a proprietary foam binder. Its growing media are used by forestry, horticulture, floriculture, and hydroponics customers in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia to start seeds and root cuttings.

The company and its products got their start in the 1980s when Dole Foods was searching for a solution to improve their lettuce seeding operation. The collaboration of Dole and the company that would become Grow-Tech provided Dole with a technology initially developed by NASA.

Over its decades in operation, Grow-Tech has been a leader in the development of biobased growing media. In 2014 the company received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Grant to assist with the development of BioStrate, an industry-first growing medium that can be disposed of in a commercial composting facility instead of being disposed of in a landfill.

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