KKR Agrees to Acquire Neighborly, Franchisor of The Grounds Guys and 27 Other Brands

Global investment firm KKR has agreed to acquire Neighborly , the world’s largest provider and franchisor of home service brands, from Harvest Partners. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Among its many brands are The Grounds Guys and Countrywide Grounds Maintenanxce in the U.K.  The Grounds Guys ranks No. 25 on the Lawn & Landscape 100 with $81 million of system-wide (include franchisees) revenue.

KKR also remains the largest shareholxder in BrightView, the largest U.S. landscape provider.  According to BrightView’s most recent proxy filing, KKR and its affiliates continued to own 48.2% of BrightView.  BrightView is the parent company of US Lawns, the largest commercial landscaping franchisor, which  ranks No. 14 on the Lawn & Landscape 100 with $180 million in system-wide revenue.

With this transaction, KKR will indirectly control two of the three largest commercial landscaping franchisor, US Lawns and The Grounds Guys.  Canada-based Clintar Commercial Outdoor services, which ranks 23rd on the Lawn & Landscape 100, was acquired by the Riverside Company earlier in 2021.

Interestingly, Harvest Partners owns Yellowstone Landscape Group, which is No. 4 on the Lawn & Landscape 100.

Founded in 1981, Neighborly is a leading home services platform that connects more than 10 million residential and commercial customers with a community of professional services focused on repairing, maintaining and enhancing consumers’ homes and properties. Through a portfolio of 28 brands, the Company offers a wide array of services including plumbing, pest control, restoration, electrical, cleaning, HVAC, home inspection and many more.

As one of the largest franchisors of ‘do-it-for-me’ professional services, Neighborly has built a network of more than 4,800 franchises both in the U.S. and internationally. Over the past decade, the Company has quickly grown its platform through the organic growth of its existing service brands and strategic acquisitions of complementary franchise service brands.

Mike Bidwell, President and CEO of Neighborly, said, “Today’s milestone is a strong validation of our business-building strategy and differentiated ability to deliver essential home services. We are excited to embark on our next chapter of growth with KKR’s support and global expertise and look forward to continuing to be a partner of choice for both customers and franchise owners in the years to come.”

Felix Gernburd, Managing Director at KKR, said, “In a large and highly fragmented industry, Neighborly stands out for its differentiated strategy of bringing together adjacent services under a diversified and tech-enabled platform, and – most importantly – for its unrivaled dedication to customer service. We are thrilled to be investing in the Neighborly team as they continue to execute on their mission: enriching people’s lives by delivering amazing experiences.”

Nicholas Romano, Partner at Harvest Partners, said, “We are pleased to have worked with Mike and his team to continue building the premier residential service provider providing services that consumers need to repair, maintain and enhance their homes. Thoughtful investments in technology and human capital have resulted in a platform positioned for accelerated growth in the coming years.”

KKR is making the investment in Neighborly from its North American private equity fund.

The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.