Green Merger News – August 2014

From the Editor


We put a great deal of emphasis on exit planning. The simple reason is that we know that green industry business owners who have a plan in place are far more likely to be able to exit their business successfully when the time comes.  We know, however, that very few business owners have devoted much attention to exit planning.  The impact of that lack of attention can be significant. Many business owners have the idea that their business interests can fund their future activities, without any real idea of the either the value of their business or what it will take to successfully sell their business when the time comes.

There are many reasons business owners fail to seriously consider their exit plans.  Probably the most common reason is that they are just busy with the every day tasks of running a business. For some business owners, the exit planning process is confusing and foreign to them and, as a result, easy to put off.  Trying to address that phenomenon was the genesis of our lead article this month, “Exit Planning-Simplified.”  While exit planning can be complex, the basic concepts are really not.

We are continuing to see significant interest in merger & acquisition transactions at all levels of the lawn and landscape industry, from the largest companies, private equity, and regional and local players.  M&A opportunities in the industry are continuing to receive a great deal of focus.  This year’s mega-merger between Brickman & ValleyCrest is fueling some of the interest.

As always, if you are considering buying or selling a lawn or landscape business or are ready to get serious about exit planning, we  would welcome the opportunity to discuss  your particular business and situation, please give us a call at 901-351-1510 or an email at [email protected].



Ron Edmonds


Exit Planning – Simplified


Exit planning doesn’t have to seem so complicated.  I think many lawn and landscape business owners put off exit planning indefinitely because it seems too complicated and time consuming to deal with.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  We’ve devised a simplified model for exit planning for that may be helpful for some business owners in both understanding what exit planning is all about and in taking concrete steps toward developing their own exit plan.

In this model, there are four distinct steps in exit planning.

ONE – Understand what you have.  If you are expecting to use the value of your business to finance your retirement or other future activities, you need to understand the value of your business.  Very few business owners have a realistic view of the value of their businesses.  You cannot rely on “rules of thumb” or what you may have heard another business sold for.  Professional help is usually warranted.  In addition to understanding the value of your business, it is important to understand the value of your other assets and liabilities and how they will affect your plans as well.

TWO –Understand what you need to achieve your objectives.  This step requires you to consider what your future plans are, what the costs associated with those future plans will be, what your other resources are and what the gap between your requirements and resources looks like.  You may be able to close that gap with the value of your business, developing other resources or adjusting your plans.

THREE – Plan to preserve and build the value of your business with its ultimate sale in mind.  If you have a period of time before you want or need to exit your business ownership, there is an opportunity to take concrete steps to improve the value of your business.  While you may focus on how to improve value, it is also important to take steps to preserve the value you have already created from unforeseen developments.

FOUR – Develop a plan to monetize to value of your business as far as possible on your timetable and on your terms.  This might include a sale to a third-party, an employee, a family member or, perhaps an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).

Exit planning is a process that continues from the present time, wherever you are on the business timeline, until its completion  with the execution of your plan.  Business situations change, personal circumstances and plans change, the economy changes.  Exit plans will change as well and regular updating is a must for effective planning.

In most cases, those with a well thought-out exit plan will have a much better result over time than those who put the exit planning process off until sometime in the future.

Recent Transactions


Here is our monthly summary of recent green industry merger & acquisition transactions:


John Deere Landscapes has acquired Diamond Head Sprinkler Supply with three locations in Hawaii.

More information


New Jersey-based Raimondi Horticultural Group has acquired Anderson Ward Plantscapes.

More Information


Atlanta-based Oasis Landscape and Irrigation has acquired Lawn Ranger in Roswell, Georgia.

More information


Piedmont LLC of Shelby, North Carolina has merged with Sherman Landscaping.


Maryland-based Green Street Growers has acquired Eclectic Nature Gift and Garden Center in Alexandria, Virginia.


Tyler, Texas-based Lawn Masters and Salcido Lawn have merged to form Clear Choice Lawncare.




Understanding the Value of Your Business


One of the most challenging steps in exit planning is often understanding the value of your business. There is a great deal of misinformation in the market based on rumors of what other companies may have sold for and an assumption that another business would likely sell for a similar price.  Often those assumptions are false (and the rumored price at whch another business may have sold may be false as well).

The Principium Group offers a cost-effective service to help green industry business owners understand the value of their businesses and the facvtors that most affect that value and what they may be able to improve that value over time. It is called a market value assessment.

Click here for more information or contact us.



Green Industry Conference


Registration is open for Planet’s Green Industry Conference, October 22-24, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  This year is the 25th anniversary for the Green Industry Conference.

The educational offerings and networking events look great.  There are several new educational offerings.

Ron Edmonds of The Principium Group will be speaking at the Green Industry Conference on Thursday afternoon from 3:00 to 4:15 pm on the following topic:

Growing Your Green Industry Business with Acquisitions: How to Succeed in Negotiating Acquisitions that Grow and Strengthen Your Business


We hope to see you in Louisville.  Contact us to schedule a meeting there.


Book Ron Edmonds for Your Meeting


Contact us for information about booking Ron Edmonds to speak to your industry group or company meeting on green industry acquisition strategies, exit planning and similar topics.


A Personal Note


Many thanks to all of you who contacted me by email or phone after hearing about my illness and surgery in June.  I am pleased to report that I am doing very well. It actually seems kind of incredible to be doing this well only eight weeks after open heart surgery.  I do go to cardiac rehab three times a week – religiously and have made it pretty close to “fighting weight.”


Again, thanks for your well-wishes and if you don’t feel right-go to the doctor!






The Sellability Score is a quantitative tool designed to analyze how sellable your business is.

After completing an online questionnaire, you will immediately receive a Sellability Score based on a 100 point scale along with instructions for interpreting your results. We will send you the full report along with a guide for interpreting the Sellability Score in the Green Industry.