To our clients and friends:
I have recently been working on a project to analyze historical consolidation activity in the landscape industry – what’s happened, what worked, what didn’t, who was successful and why. As I worked on that project and also as I reviewed 2017 transactions while preparing this annual edition of Green Industry M&A News, it occurred to me that we are presently in the midst of what I am now calling the Third Wave of consolidation of the landscape industry.
The First Wave of consolidation was led by LandCARE USA and what would become known as TruGreen Landcare in 1998 and 1999. In reviewing the pace of transactions in those two years, I find it nothing short of amazing that so many transactions got done in so short a time.
The Second Wave moved more slowly and deliberately. It emerged in the late 2000s and early 2010s and was characterized by the emergence of The Brickman Group, Ltd. and The ValleyCrest Companies as the undisputed industry leaders. The wave slowed considerably after 2011 and ended definitively with the acquisition of Brickman by KKR&Co. and the subsequent Brickman/ValleyCrest merger which created today’s BrightView.
The current Third Wave of industry consolidation is far broader than the first two waves. It is primarily led by a number private equity groups which have either already invested in the industry or are seeking to, along with several active strategic buyers. In this year’s review we count ten new platform investments, including seven landscape services companies and three closely-related companies. There was one private equity exit with Terracare Associates being acquired by fast-growing Monarch Landscape Holdings, a portfolio company of One Rock Capital.
If you would like to discuss how this marketplace activity affects your business and your plans, please give me a call at 901-351-1510 or send me an email. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.
The Year in Review
Here is our annual recap of reported merger & acquisition transactions involving lawn, landscape and related businesses for 2017:
Private Equity Platform Investments
ClearLight Partners acquired Moore Landscapes in Illinois More information
CVF Capital Partners provided mezzanine financing for Signature Coast Holdings, the result of a merger of Signature Landscape in Nevada and Coast Landscape Management in California More information
Canopy Lawn Care acquired Grass Monkey in Raleigh More information , the residential accounts of Greenview Partners in North Carolina More information , the residential accounts of Southscape Landscaping More information
Chenmark Capital invested in Maffei Landscape in Massachusetts More information and Piscataway Landscaping & Tree Service in Maine More information
Environmental Pest (Bug Out) acquired Pro Lawn-Plus in Florida More information
HeartLand LLC acquired Signature Landscape in Kansas (transaction in 2016, reported in 2017) More information, Keesen Landscape Management in Colorado (transaction in 2016, reported in 2017) More information‘ and Summit Services in Colorado More information
SavATree acquired Swingle Tree, Lawn & Landscape in Colorado More information, Thrive Plant Health Solutions in Virginia More information, and Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape in Colorado More information
SCG Partners acquired two undisclosed landscape companies in Florida
TruGreen Lawncare acquired Lawn Dawg in New Hampshire More information and Turfmasters in Connecticut More information
Borst Landscape acquired Magnolia Landscaping Corporation in New Jersey More information
Prescription Landscape acquired Arteka Outdoor in Minnesota More information
Advancer Global acquired Envirocare in Singapore More information
Nurture Landscape acquired the landscape maintenance operations of Frost Group in the United Kingdom More information
US-based Dwyer Group acquired the Countrywide Grounds Maintenance franchise system in the United Kingdom More information
SecurAmerica acquired Chattanooga-based ERMC Facilities Management More information
Sweeping Corporation of America acquired Ohio-based Sky Sweeping More information and Pennsylvania-based Reilly Sweeping More information
South Coast Supply in California More information
Evergreen Partners in North Carolina More information
Pete Rose in Virginia More information
AB Supply in California More information
Angelo’s Supplies in Michigan More information
Stone Forest Materials In Georgia More information
Aspen Valley Landcape Supply in Illinois More information
Harmony Gardens in Colorado More information
A Look at Lawn Doctor’s Acquisition Program
Lawn Doctor has launched a program to encourage its franchisees to make acquisitions. The Company’s objective is to have strong, growing franchisees and they believe acquisitions can be a great way to help make that happen. The Company believes acquisitions by franchisees can be a such a positive thing that they are providing substantial support to franchisees who make an acquisition, providing a significant amount of financing and offering other incentives.
Scott Frith, Lawn Doctor’s CEO puts it this way, “We want Lawn Doctor, through its franchise network, to be the acquiror of choice for lawn care business owners considering selling.”
I have been saying for some time that it is time for a “new number two” to emerge in lawn care. Perhaps Lawn Doctor will be the one that fills that void.
Next Steps for Business Owners
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