Green Merger News – November 2014

From the Editor – Will We Have a Boom in Mergers & Acquisitions?


I have greatly resisted the temptation to predict a boom in merger & acquisition activity in the green industry.  I have believed that while there are many positive forces at play, prevailing valuations will not trigger a boom and that financial discipline among buyers will make a sharp increase in valuations highly unlikely.  While that financial discipline is very real, we are beginning to see some serious enthusiasm for acquisition opportunities.


As the year winds down, the trends that developed earlier in the year are continuing.


The marketplace is more active with both buyers and sellers than in a number of years.  The level of private equity interest in the industry is at a high level as a number of firms are seeking good opportunities in landscape services and related sectors. We are seeing some signs of life in the lawncare sector as well.  A number of people in the industry are considering roll-up strategies in different sectors.


There are several large pending transactions, which include private equity-backed firms seeking an exit.  With all of this activity, we are still expecting to see some details of the Brickman/ValleyCrest integration plan soon, which may stimulate additional activity as companies take advantage of opportunities to strengthen their competitive position.


Will this all lead to a boom in mergers & acquisitions?  I still think not, but we are likely to continue to see higher levels of activity for the foreseeable future.



As always, if you are interested in buying or selling a green industry business, ready to begin exit planning or considering an exit strategy, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation.



Ron Edmonds

[email protected]



Recent Transactions



Here is our monthly recap of recent merger & acquisition transactions in the green industry:


Minnesota-based Reliable Property Services has formed a strategic partnership with The Lawn Ranger of Minnesota, acquiring its landscape maintenance business.

More information


Austin-based planning and landscape architecture firm RVi has acquired Dallas-based NJB.

More information


Chicago-based  Alfred Benesch & Company (Benesch) has merged with Site Solutions, a Charlotte, North Carolina based site planning and landscape architecture firm.

More Information


Scotts Lawn Service, a unit of The Scotts Miracle Gro Company has agreed to acquire Indiana-based Action Pest Control.  This is Scott’s long-awaited platform investment in pest control. Scott’s operates its pest control business under the Ortho brand.

More information


Emerald Lawn care and Executive Lawn Care have merged in Frisco, Texas

More information


More information


If you know of green industry business sales or mergers & acquisitions that should be reported here, please contact us.

Please add us to press release distribution lists.


The Hidden Factor That Drives the Value of Your Business


You already know that your company’s revenue and profits play a big role in how much your business is worth.

Do you also know the role cash flow plays in your valuation?

Click here to read more.


Former Brickman Executive Mike Bogan named CEO of TruGreen Landcare

In an interesting development, former Brickman executive Mike Bogan has been named CEO of TruGreen Landcare.

Bogan is one of the most experienced and successful executives in the industry, excelling  in both operations and acquisitions.

TruGreen Landcare is owned by private equity firm Aurora Resurgence.  This appointment can be interpreted as a signal of Aurora’s intent to build TruGreen Landcare into a stronger and more substantial player in the landscape services industry.

More information

Editor’s Note:

I met Mike while working on an acquisition with Brickman.  Aurora could not have made a better choice.

What Are They Doing Now?

Don Hudson – Nuisance Wildlife Control


This is another in our occasional series of articles about former clients who sold their businesses and what they are doing in their next life.


Don Hudson, CEO of Wildlife X Team.


Don Hudson is owner and CEO of Wildlife X Team, a growing nuisance wildlife control business with offices throughout Texas which s now franchising in various markets across the country.  Here is his story, which I think you will find interesting.

Don contacted me about five years ago regarding the sale of his nuisance wildlife franchise unit in Dallas-Fort Worth.  He had been very successful and was operating one of the company’s largest franchises.

Like many business owners, family issues drove the decision that Don and his wife Tammi made to sell their business.  They had a son who had been diagnosed with autism.  The situation was creating stress in their family, including school problems, health care issues and the overall strain a situation like this can place on a family.  Not only did they feel compelled to downsize from their business to focus on their family, they also felt a strong calling to help other families going through similar situations.  They knew first hand how hard it is to find services and support and wanted to share   what they had learned with others going through the same thing.

Mainly because it was during the height of the recession, it took some time to complete the business sale.  We became close friends during the business sale process and remained so afterward.  We had many conversations about our families and about new business opportunities.  A remarkable thing happened, their son “outgrew” autism and no longer shows any signs of the disorder.  At the time, I had never heard of such a thing.  We all recognized it as a miracle and an answer to the prayers of many, many people, around the country and around the world.

With his noncompete agreement over, Don began to consider opening a new nuisance wildlife business and decided to launch it in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  It is called Wildlife X Team.  It provides the full range of nuisance wildlife control services including nuisance wildlife removal, exclusion, and damage repair.   They have developed a very strong team with a focus on both operations and marketing.  They even have a trained zoologist on their team to support the field team with technical issues.

Don decided to launch a franchise operation for Wildlife X Team.  Wildlife X Team now has locations throughout Texas, Tennessee and Utah with new locations on the near-term horizon.   These locations are a combination of company-owned and franchised locations.  Their goal is to build the business to be a national player in the industry.

To learn more about Wildlife X Team, visit their website at  To learn more about the Wildlife X Team franchise opportunity, click here.





Businesses Wanted and Businesses for Sale


For a list of markets with businesses wantedclick here.  The primary focus is commercial maintenance, but some design-build may be acceptable.  There are also opportunities for lawn care businesses in many markets.

For a list of businesses for saleclick here.  This list represents a portion of the projects we are working on which may be of interest.


Short Takes


Ron Edmonds of The Principium Group will be leading a roundtable discussion at The Western in Kansas City on January 4.  The topic is Transition Planning in the Green Industry – Family, Employees and Third Party Sales.  Click here for more information.


Principium’s Ron Edmonds will be presenting a webinar for the Professional Landcare Network, entitled Exit Planning – Simplified – for Lawn and Landscape Business Owners”  The webinar will be held on Wednesday January 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm Eastern Time.  The webinar is free for Planet members and $99 for nonmembers.  If you are not a Planet member, contact us and find out why you should be. Click here for more Information.


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.



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.