The Business A wholesale flower farm with an ocean view, on 4.3 acres on the slopes of Mount Haleakala, Maui. Includes 13 screened, carnation-filled greenhouses (86,000 square feet); a two-bedroom house; an orchard of plum, cherry blossom, apple, and pear trees; and room to grow. Now on the market because of a decline in the operator's health.

Financial Summary 1988 1989 1990
Gross sales $107,418 $50,348 $50,584

Recast pretax profit (loss) 23,000 (10,000) (12,000)

Price $1.2 million

Outlook Flowers are hot, even if this grower isn't. The domestic wholesale cut-flower market topped $815 million last year, and floral-item sales per capita have risen from $24.50 to $51.69 since 1982. Experts say a new owner should consider planting what grows best here (and yields more money per bloom): the exotic and tropical plants naturally suited to Hawaii's unusual climate.

Price Rationale Though not exactly distressed, this business has certainly been neglected -- and the owner is in a hurry to sell. The result: a bargain (he claims), with an asking price that might be lower than liquidation value. Subtract the $450,000 that the buildings and equipment are estimated to be worth, and you're left with land costs of about $175,000 per acre -- substantially lower than the $300,000 per acre sometimes fetched by agricultural properties in this choice Maui locale. You're buying assets, not goodwill.

Pros Projected revenues of $180,000, with a 44% net, after expansion. (There's more than enough unused property for greenhouse space to be doubled.) Brisk local demand for fresh flowers from Maui hotels and flower shops. A market waiting to be tapped: Japan, by far the world's leading consumer of flowers.

Cons Because this garden has not been properly tended for the past two years, it will require substantial recultivation (an estimated $100,000 investment) to become profitable again. Floriculture is a delicate business, requiring patience, hard work, and something not everyone is born with: a green thumb. -- Alessandra Bianchi

Inc. has no stake in the sale of the business featured. The magazine cannot confirm the accuracy of financial or other information offered by the seller. Inquiries should be directed to Business Brokers Hawaii #1 Inc., Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. n