Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) Unit Exercises Options to Take Stake in AeroGrow (AERO) Up to 80%

November 30, 2016 8:46 AM EST

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The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG) announced that SMG Growing Media, Inc., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, has exercised its current outstanding warrants to establish an 80 percent ownership stake in AeroGrow International, Inc. (OTC: AERO).

The Company, through its subsidiary, established an approximately 31 percent stake in AeroGrow in 2013. Since that time, the business has demonstrated strong and consistent growth with a leading line of consumer indoor gardening systems. The Company’s involvement in AeroGrow is managed within its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Hawthorne Gardening Company.

Under terms of the transaction, approximately 21.6 million shares of AeroGrow were issued to ScottsMiracle-Gro for $47.8 million. AeroGrow separately announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a $41 million distribution, equivalent to $1.21 per share, payable Jan. 3, 2017. In addition, AeroGrow is expected to repay ScottsMiracle-Gro a roughly $5.25 million loan used for working capital purposes.

The net cash outlay for ScottsMiracle-Gro related to the transaction is approximately $9 million.

With the increased ownership position, three members of the ScottsMiracle-Gro team will now sit on the 5-member AeroGrow board, including Chris Hagedorn, general manager of The Hawthorne Gardening Company, who also will be chairman of the AeroGrow board. Michael Wolfe will remain in his capacity as president and CEO of AeroGrow. “Our investment and work with AeroGrow has benefited both companies, and we continue to see great potential for indoor gardening going forward,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO of ScottsMiracle-Gro. “We’re pleased to maintain key members of the management team, excited by their pipeline of new products, and we look forward to even greater results going forward.”

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