Green Merger News – November 2012

Commentary – Uncertainty – The New Normal


Not too long ago, I was asked what I thought was the biggest issue facing business owners in the green industry.  I found that an easy question to answer.  I said “Uncertainty.  Uncertainty in economic outlook,  tax rates, immigration policy, healthcare reform, etc.”  I was asked that question before the elections. Naively, many people thought that uncertainty would be greatly diminished after the election.  That just hasn’t been the case as now the pre-election general uncertainty has been replaced by fear of the “fiscal cliff” and sadly, we STILL don’t know what tax rates are going to be in January.

The remarkable thing I have observed is that while uncertainty continues to reign and  has certainly contributed to a high level of frustration among small business owners, most business owners I know are just anxious to move on making good decisioins and building their businesses.

As always, if you are considering selling or buying a green industry business – or beginning the exit planning process, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

-Ron Edmonds

Email me

Call me direct at 901-351-1510

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Seven Steps to Effective Exit Planning


The purpose of exit planning is to increase the probability that business owners will be able to achieve their personal objectives in exiting their businesses, on their own terms and timetable. Without an exit planning process, most business owners will not be able to do so.

Here are the seven basic steps in exit planning.

1. Understand your own objectives and your own financial situation.
2. Understand the value of your business.
3. Develop a plan to improve the value of your business.
4. Develop a plan to preserve the value of your business.
5. Develop a plan to unlock the value of your business.
6. Update the plan regularly.
7. Execute the plan – on your own terms on your timetable.

Some business owners may be able to create their exit plan themselves. Others will be able to use their regular business advisors, including accountants and attorneys. Still others will be best served by working with an exit planning specialist.

What is the hardest step in exit planning?  It is usually number one and number two – understanding your own objectives, your own financial situation and value of your business.

When is the right time to start thinking about exit planning?  That one is easy.  The answer is NOW, at least if you want to increase the probability of number seven, being able to exit your business on your own terms on your own timetable.

Recent Transactions


Ruppert Landscape has acquired The Watchman Group, based in Kensington, Md. The company specializes in project management and site development and is focused on sports field and golf course development; including building structures, site infrastructure and wastewater treatment facilities.

Gallivan Corp., a Troy, New York-based landscape design, construction, and management firm has acquired Northern Landscape Services located in Pownal, Vt

Atlanta-based  Arrow Exterminators acquired Terminator Pest Control of Mississippi, with locations throughout Mississippi.

Massey Services of Orlando, Florida, has  acquired GreenFrog Services, a pest management company headquartered in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Sarasota, Florida-based Arrow Environmental Services has acquired Can Eliminate Pest Control of Fort Myers.  Can Eliminate specializes in providing residential and commercial service throughout the Fort Myers area.  Arrow Environmental has completed eight acquisitions in the past five months.


Editor’s Note:  We try to include as many transactions in this column as possible, but some slip by us all the time.  If you know of a transaction we’ve missed or you’ve been involved in one you would like us to cover, please send us an email and we will try to include it.



Do You Know What Your Business is Worth?


Understanding the Value of Your Business is an important step in the Exit Planning Process.  Most business owners do not have a clear idea of the value of their business or understand the important factors that drive that value.  Understanding the value of your business will help you plan for the future and will also allow you as a business owner to take constructive steps to improve that value over time.

The Prinicpium Group offers a cost-effective approach we call the Market Value Assessment.  The Market Value Assessment provides a valuation for your business based on established methods and industry conditions for planning purposes.  It also will specifically identify importqant factoprs that affect the value of your particular business.

If you are interested in learning more, please email us or call Ron Edmonds at 901-351-1510.



Understanding the Process of Selling Your Business

with Ron Edmonds

Thursday, December 6, 2012 1:00 PM EST (12:00 CST, 11:00 MST, 10:00 PST)


During this webinar, Ron Edmonds, president of The Principium Group and one of the leading merger & acquisition advisors in the Green Industry will provide an overview of the business sale process, including such topics as Preparing Yourself to Sell Your Business, Preparing Your Business to Be Sold, Who Will Buy Your Business, How Your Business Will Be Valued, and What  Business Buyers Are  Looking For.  The presentation portion of the webinar will last 30 minutes and 30 minutes will be reserved for questions and answers.  In addition, Ron will answer any questions that are not answered during the webinar in writing on a special web page.  The webinar will be held Thursday, December 6, 2012 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EST.   Click here to register for Understanding the Process of Selling Your Business




Building a Sellable Business

with John Warrillow

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:00 AM EST (10:00 CST, 9:00 MST, 8:00 PST)


John Warrillow, the bestselling author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, will lead a one-hour presentation on building a sellable business. Built to Sell was ranked by both Inc and Fortune Magazine as one of the best business books of 2011. During this unique session, John will discuss the principles of increasing the value of your company – John will also take your questions directly.  The webinar will be held Wednesday, December 12, 2012 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT.

Click here to register for Building a Sellable Business.

Short Takes


The October issue of Landscape Management features LM’s  Business Planner 2013, which includes 21 “How to” articles, including one on “How to Prepare Your Business for Sale” (pages 78-81), written by Ron Edmonds of The Principium Group.  There are a number of other interesting articles, including “How to Overcome Exit Planning Myths” and  “How to Build a Company That Runs Itself” (by Jeffrey Scott).

In addition, Ron Edmonds is quoted extensively in an article by Beth Geraci entitled, “Playing their cards right”, (pages S21-S 2 ), which analyzes merger & acquisition trends in the green industry.


Books by Ron Edmonds


Green Exit:  Exit Planning for Lawn and Landscape Business Owners

Charting a Course:  Acquisition Strategy in the Green Industry

How to Sell Your Green Business

Also available for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.

Also available from and other online retailers.