|The Year in Review
Publicly Reported Transactions in 2012
2012 was, all-in-all, a pretty good year for mergers and acquisitions in the industry. It started out strong but weakened later in the year as the elections and economic and political uncertainty dampened enthusiasm. It was also noticeable by the complete absence of reported transactions by some of the largest companies in the industry, including Brickman and ValleyCrest.
In a broad index, which includes many relatively small transactions, BizBuySell.com reported a total of 150 landscape-related business sales on its system compared to 94 in 2011 and 78 in 2010.
Here is our recap of reported transactions during 2012 within the greem industry, including lawn, landscape and related services businesses. This listing was developed from publicly available sources and is roughly in chronological order.
Lawn Doctor, Inc. was acquired by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners of Beverly Hills, California. Lawn Doctor is a leading franchisor of residential lawn care businesses, with over 460 independently-owned franchise locations.
Austin Outdoor, the Florida-based division of Yellowstone Landscape Group, acquired the landscape management division of Cornerstone Solutions Group. This acquisition will significantly expand Austin Outdoor’s reach in the Tampa, Sarasota, Orlando and Jacksonville markets. Yellowstone Landscape Group is a portfolio company of Gridiron Capital. Yellowstone also rebranded its Atlanta division, Piedmont Landscape under the Austin Outdoor banner.
Go-Forth Pest & Lawn of HighPoint, North Carolina, acquired Lake Norman Pest Control.
Richmond, Virginia-based Virginia Green Lawn Care,acquired Beaver Tree and Lawn Service. With the acquisition, Virginia Green Lawn Care is now one of Central Virginia’s larger independent lawn care companies with more than 35 employees servicing commercial and residential customers.
Ferndale, Washington-based Minergy, Inc. has acquired Acute Lawn and Landscape of Bellingham, Washington. Minergy now has three divisions: land development and utilities, landscape and irrigation, and grounds maintenance.
Stay Green, Inc. based in Santa Clarita, California, has acquired Wurzel Landscape, a Studio City, California-based commercial landscape maintenance company.
Tucson-based Santa Rita Landscaping, Inc. has merged with Southwest Enviroscapes, Inc. The combined company will be known as Santa Rita Landscaping, Inc.
Chicago-based The Millard Group, a national facilities management company, has acquired Preferred Landscape and Lighting of San Antonio, Texas.
New Hampshire-based Lawn Dawg Inc. has acquired Connecticut-based Lush Lawn Service Inc.
McKinney Capital of Birmingham, Alabama has acquired Landscape Workshop, the largest landscape company in Alabama. This is the second acquisition in the landscape space for McKinney. In September 2011, McKinney acquired Environmental Landscape Services of Memphis, Tennessee.
READCO, based in Old Lyme, Connecticut has acquired The Yard Group. In connection with the acquisition, READCO, a real estate management firm, combined its existing landscape operations with The Yard Group. The Yard Group now operates under four brands, B&B Landscaping, Burhoe Landscaping and Lawncare, Connecticut Homescapes and READCO Landscaping.
Bartlett Tree Experts has acquired the business operations of Tree Medics of New Orleans, Louisiana. With the addition of this new location, Bartlett now operates in 26 states as well as Canada, Ireland and Great Britain.
The Greenery, an employee-owned landscape services company based in Hilton Head, South Carolina, The Greenery, an employee owned company, has acquired Mazzanna’s Lawn & Landscaping of Beaufort, South Carolina.
Gridiron Capital of New Canaan, Connecticut, has acquired Quality Solutions, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas. QSI is a facilities management company focused on the retail and food service industries. QSI includes landscape services on the menu of services it offers its clients. Yellowstone Landscape Group is also a portfolio company of Gridiron Capital.
Suburban Landscape Management, a $4 million Wichita-based landscape services company, acquired Dreamscapes Landscaping of Derby, Kansas. Dreamscapes will continue to operate under its existing name as a division of Suburban, under the leadership of Wes Pechin, Dreamscapes’ founder. Dreamscapes will now offer its clients landscape maintenance services, in addition to design-build.
Lawn Dawg Inc. of Nashua, New Hampshire, acquired LawnMaster of Derry, NH. The acquisition continues Lawn Dawg’s growth in the southern New Hampshire market.
Executive Landscaping, Inc. of Pensacola, Florida has merged with Pensacola Landscaping and Lawn Care, Inc. The combined company will be known as Executive Landscaping, Inc. It serves over 300 commercial accounts in the Pensacola area and has approximately 100 employees.
Consolidated Landscaping, LLC acquired the US Lawns franchises in Grapevine and Fort Worth, Texas as a part of its strategy to develop a comprehensive landscape services businesses across the DFW Metroplex.
Senske Lawn & Tree Care, which also offers pest control services, acquired Las Vegas, Nevada based Guardian Pest Defense in order to strengthen its residential pest control customer base and achieve its long term goal of operating in the metro Las Vegas area. Senske is based in Kennewick, Washington.
Greenscape, Inc. of Holly Springs, North Carolina, acquired Raleigh-based Francis Landscaping.
Atlanta, Georgia-based Arrow Exterminators acquired Al Hofer’s Termite, Pest & Lawn of Melbourne, Florida.
Sarasota, Florida-based Arrow Environmental Services acquired Sur-Shot, Alert Termite & Pest and Cape Coral Termite and Pest Control of Naples, Florida. Arrow provides lawn and tree care in addition to pest control.
Virginia Green Lawn Care of Richmond, Virgina, acquired Beaver Tree and Lawn Service.
Stewart Engineering of Raleigh and Durham-based HadenStanzale are merging, creating a 115 employee engineering and landscape architecture firm, which will be based in Raleigh and have a substantial presence in Charlotte.
Colorado Springs engineering and planning firm Matrix Design Group, Inc. acquired Design Studio West, Inc., a Denver landscape architecture firm.
Homestead, Pennsylvania-based GAI Consultants, Inc. has acquired Orlando, Florida-based landscape architecture firm Bellomo-Herbert and Co., Inc.
Plantscapes, Inc. of Seattle acquired certain operations of Highridge Corporation of Issaquah, Washington. Highridge offered landscape design, construction and maintenance.
Ruppert Landscape, Inc. acquired selected assets of Eco Scapes, Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Sarasota-based Arrow Environmental Services, Inc. of acquired The Pest Exterminators of Naples, Florida.
Rhode Island Landscape architecture firm Gates, Leighton & Associates merged with engineering firm Beta Group Inc.
Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators acquired Spencer Pest Services in North Charleston, S.C.
Consolidated Landscaping LLC doing business as U.S. Lawns (Ft. Worth) acquired Ft. Worth-based Aesthetic Landscaping. The combined organization will operate under the U.S. Lawns name.
Colorado’s Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care, announced the acquisition of Saratoga
Ventures, Inc., a Boulder/Longmont, Colorado, lawn services company.
Georgia’s The Fockele Garden Company acquired the accounts and assets of KMA Gardens, an Atlanta-based landscape design, build, and maintain company.
The Davey Tree Expert Company acquired LandKeepers, LLC, of Woodstock, Ill., and integrated its services into its Davey Resource Group Chicago operations. LandKeepers specialized in the preservation and stewardship of natural areas and high-quality habitats.
Ruppert Landscape acquired New River Landscape, a Raleigh, N.C.-based company, which provides commercial grounds management services. This was Ruppert’s second acquisition in the Raleigh area this year.
David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc. formed Lied’s-Frank Residential Landscapes, a division of the Germantown, Wisconsin,-based David J. Frank. David J. Frank is the largest landscape contractor in Wisconsin. Lied’s is also a venerable name in the green industry in Wisconsin, having served the landscape industry there for 67 years. Tom Lied will serve as president of the new division.
Ruppert Landscape acquired The Watchman Group, based in Kensington, Md. The company specializes in sports field and golf course development.
Gallivan Corp., a Troy, New York-based landscape design, construction, and management firm has acquired Northern Landscape Services located in Pownal, Vermont
Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators acquired Terminator Pest Control of Mississippi, with locations throughout Mississippi.
Roaring Fork Interiorscape of Aspen, Colorado was acquired by a new owner.
Massey Services of Orlando, Florida, acquired GreenFrog Services, a pest management company headquartered in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Sarasota, Florida-based Arrow Environmental Services acquired Can Eliminate Pest Control of Fort Myers. Can Eliminate specializes in providing residential and commercial service throughout the Fort Myers area.
Bemus Landscape, Inc. of San Clemente, CA acquired the assets of Aspen Landscape. Bemus has four locations throughout Southern California.
The Landscape Partners of Fort Worth, Texas has acquired Western Lawns, a full-service commercial landscape maintenance company in Oklahoma City. The Landscape Partners now has offices in Fort Worth, Dallas and Oklahoma City.
Rentokil Pest Control acquired Eden Advanced Pest Technologies of Olympia, Washington.
Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators has acquired Terminator Pest Control of Mississippi.
McKinney Capital of Birmingham has acquired Grounds Unlimited, also based in the Birmingham area. Grounds Unlimited will be merged into McKinney;s earlier acquisition, Landscape Workshop, by the end of 2013.
TruGreen Lawncare does not typically announce its acquisitions, but based on a review of ServiceMaster’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, it appears that TruGreen ‘s acquisition volume was down approximately 60% in 2012.