We are pleased to present the annual Year in Review issue of Green Industry Merger & Acquisition News. In this issue, we recap many of the merger and acquisition transactions that have been completed in the last year involving lawn, landscape and related businesses. We also take note of key trends we see affecting mergers & acquisitions in the green industry in the coming year.
In our view, the level of transactions completed this year is an indicator of the underlying strength of the industry. We recognize that is little consolation to the business owners struggling with the twin challenges of the overall business climate coupled with what in many markets has become brutal competition.
As we look back to the events of the past year, we believe it is a good time to look forward as well. For some green industry business owners, this is an excellent time to consider strategic acquisitions. For many others, it is time to begin exit strategy planning. For still others, now is the time to be considering the sale or merger of a business. If any of these are on your agenda, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.
Here are our thoughts about key trends that will impact green industry mergers and acquisitions in the year to come:
· Major industry players will continue to seek strategic acquisitions in an attempt to strengthen their networks.
· Local and regional companies will also seek to take advantage of strategic acquisition opportunities.
· A number of regional consolidation efforts will emerge as companies seek to take advantage of opportunities and strengthen their position in an increasingly compettive marketplace.
· Franchising and similar programs will to continue to grow in the industry, giving independent operators access to marketing and operational support and reducing risks.
· Financing will continue to be a challenge for many potential buyers.
· Buyers will be disciplined in their approach to acquisitions, partly in response to the requirements of their financing sources.
· Long-term tax policy for capital gains and estate taxes will continue to be uncertain, making exit planning challenging.
· Additional consolidation efforts in both lawn care and landscape services will emerge.
· Although the economy is slowly emerging from the recession, the effects of price competition will impact the profitability of the industry, prolonging the recovery for many. The combination of the recession and serious competition will cause weaker companies to seek exit strategies.
· Valuations will remain soft and will not return to pre-recession levels for some time to come. The best opportunities will still command premium valuations, however.
· Over time, landscape contractors who shifted their focus to maintenance as construction ground to a halt will return to their traditional business.
· As the economy strengthens, the focus on all things green will become even more pronounced. Environmentally-friendly businesses within the industry will be increasingly attractive, including those offering organic lawn care and water-efficient landscaping.
Ron Edmonds is the president of The Principium Group. In this role, he provides overall strategic direction to the firm.
Ron is also the editor of Green Industry Merger & Acquisition News. He is the author of How to Sell Your Green Business: A Guide for Green Industry Business Owners, first published in 2009.
His entire career has included a focus on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Since 2002, he has focused on the green industry and more specifically on lawncare and landscape businesses nationwide. He has extensive experience with both buy-side and sell-side engagements as well as consulting on exit strategies and corporate development.
Ron holds BS and MS degrees in accounting from Oklahoma State University and is a CPA (Oklahoma, inactive).
Ron enjoys consulting with green industry business owners nationwide. He also participates in a variety of industry events and is available for on-site presentations and speaking engagements.
Richard Helling is based in the Memphis area. He works with clients in the lawn, landscape and pest control industries. He has a background in the construction, real estate and hospitality industries. In addition to direct client relationships, he is responsible for research, coordinating contacts with clients and potential clients and writing materials prepared in connection with client engagements.
In addition to his business activities, he is the author of two novels. He holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from Colorado State University where he was a member of the varsity track & field team.
Christopher Martin is based in the Philadelphia area. He works with clients in the lawn and landscape industries. Prior to joining Principium, he was associated with another merger & acquisition firm. He also previously founded and developed a lawn care fertilization and weed control company which he later sold to a national lawn care company.
Chris is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a specialization on computing.
You can reach Chris via email at