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ScottsMiracle-Gro Completes Minority Investment in Bonnie Plants

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, March 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG), the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, today announced it has completed a minority economic investment in Bonnie Plants Inc., the largest and only national grower and supplier of quality vegetable and herb plants for consumers,solidifying its commitment to edible gardening.

As part of the partnership, ScottsMiracle-Gro will provide exclusive marketing and R&D services to Bonnie Plants for its edible gardening initiatives. Fueled by edible gardening trends, the nearly $7 billion live good category is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. Health and wellness are major drivers in garden-to-table trends as consumers look to make more sustainable and healthy choices.

“By combining Bonnie’s expertise as growers with our core strength in marketing, we believe our partnership can bring a new level of excitement to the edible growing category and create even more gardeners who share a passion for growing their own food at home,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO of ScottsMiracle-Gro. “This effort represents an important element of our long-term plan and a key component of expanding our relationship with gardeners throughout the United States.”

The investment in Bonnie is a key element of ‘Project Focus,’ a multi-year strategy outlined by ScottsMiracle-Gro last year to focus on the current and emerging categories of the lawn and garden industry in its core North America business. Other areas of focus include organic gardening, hydroponic gardening, supporting water positive landscapes as well as bringing internet-enabled technology to the garden.

Bonnie Plants is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Alabama Famers Cooperative. The Alabama Farmers Cooperative was advised by long-term financial advisor, Rabobank. North Inlet Advisors, LLC served as financial advisor to ScottsMiracle-Gro.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro

With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is exclusively marketed near worldwide by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. In 2015, the Company ranked on Forbes 100 Most Reputable Companies in America. For additional information, visit us at www.scottsmiraclegro.com.

About Bonnie Plants

Headquartered in Union Springs, Alabama, Bonnie Plants is the largest and only national supplier and producer of vegetable and herbs in the United States. Bonnie grows more than 250 varieties of quality vegetable and herb plants for gardeners across the country, with 72 growing stations, serving the 48 contiguous states. Established in 1918 by Bonnie and Livingston Paulk, the company has remained in touch with its roots and is led by their grandson, Stan Cope. Bonnie Plants, available at every Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowes and 4700 Independent garden centers in the 48 contiguous states provides their plants in biodegradable, plantable pots, preventing transplant shock and saving more than a hundred million plastic pots from landfills each year. For more information please visit www.bonnieplants.com.

About Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc.

Founded in 1936, Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Inc. (AFC) is an agricultural cooperative that provides Alabama farmers a full range of agricultural supplies and services. Based in Decatur, Ala., AFC has 37 member associations, including approximately 90 retail locations, and 2,300+ employees. All facilities operated by AFC are governed by local, farmer-owned cooperatives. Each member co-op shares in the financial proceeds from AFC operations and benefits from the research and marketing services of the entire co-op system. AFC has grown to become one of the largest farmer-owned agriculture related businesses in the Southeast.

Contact: Molly Jennings, (561) 681-7683

Source:The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company