Landscape Workshop acquires Louisiana Landscape Specialty

Landscape Workshop recently acquired Louisiana Landscape Specialty with three locations based in Southeast Louisiana.

Randy M. Loup started Louisiana Landscape Specialty in 1983. Since that time, LLS developed from a small landscape installation and maintenance operation with less than a dozen employees into one of the largest landscape contracting companies in the Gulf, employing over 100 landscape industry professionals.

Loup will join Landscape Workshop as a founder and partner. Loup is responsible for driving a seamless transition for LLS’ customers and employees.

“Landscape Workshop is excited to enter the Louisiana market. With the acquisition of Louisiana Landscape Specialty, Inc., one of the leading landscape companies in South Louisiana, we can now provide service to even more of the Southeastern United States,” says J.T. Price, Landscape Workshop CEO.

Landscape Workshop is a full-service grounds management firm for commercial outdoor spaces since 1984. Serving 17 Southeastern markets, Landscape Workshop operates in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Florida panhandle. Landscape Workshop is backed by Carousel Capital and McKinney Capital.

Landscape Workshop ranked No. 36 on Lawn & Landscape’s Top 100 list this year.

Fairway expands with 3 acquisitions

Real Turf Solutions in Florida, Green Queen in Atlanta and One Call in Ohio are all Fairway partners now.

Fairway continues to expand its footprint with three additional acquisitions: Real Turf Solutions in Florida; Green Queen headquartered in Atlanta; and One Call in Ohio.

Further strengthening its presence in Florida, Real Turf Solutions, is the latest partnership in the Tampa area. “With 30 years of experience where customers know founder and co-owner Harvey Hudson and co-owner Joe Fragomeni by name, they share our values for customer excellence and positive results,” says Fairway CEO Greg Harbison.

“Our other latest partnership is with Green Queen, based out of Atlanta and also serving Charleston, and soon, Nashville,” Harbison says. “Jennifer Hankey is an innovative operator who brings a an environmentally-friendly offering to her customers and expands our ability to offer organic solutions.” 

After her child experienced various food allergies, Hankey began researching organic means of reducing unwanted pests in the home and yard.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Fairway Companies family and to introduce chemical-free pest and lawn solutions to a broader audience of environmentally conscious consumers," Hankey says.

In addition, Fairway company NexGreen acquired One Call, which started 28 years ago by Scott Jones. The acquisition further continues Fairway's growth in central Ohio.

APHIX acquires Common Grounds Landscape Management

The full-service grounds maintenance company, based in Knoxville, will broaden APHIX’s footprint in the Southeast.

APHIX has acquired Common Grounds Landscape Management, a full-service grounds maintenance provider located in Knoxville, Tennessee. This purchase adds a second office in Tennessee as the company grows its presence in the Southeast U.S.

Founded in 1989, Common Grounds Landscape Management opened when John and Suzanne Watson purchased a division of Jim McClain Nursery, where John worked for eight years after his graduation from the University of Tennessee. Its customer portfolio includes office parks, hotel/ hospitality clients, multi-family properties, government facility maintenance and other commercial landscaping.

John will continue to lead the Knoxville team as branch manager.

“We started Common Grounds 34 years ago with three employees plus myself. We’ve grown to almost 50 including two of the original three. As I got closer to the next chapter in my life, I’ve realized in order for my team to expand and benefit employees, who I think of as family, we needed to go to the next level. The APHIX partnership gives us the tools to do that. I’m excited for the future of this partnership,” John says.

“We are excited to have John Watson and the entire Common Grounds team part of the APHIX brand,” says Allen Sweeney, CEO of APHIX. “Their people and culture first approach aligns with the mission of APHIX and we look forward to growing in the Knoxville market.”

Turf Masters Brands acquires One Two Tree near Miami

One Two Tree has been serving homeowners in South Florida since 1987 and operates in both the Miami-Dade County and Broward County markets.

Turf Masters Brands, a provider of recurring residential lawn care services, acquired One Two Tree (“OTT”), a provider of residential lawn care, tree care and pest control services based in Miami, Fla. With the addition of OTT, Turf Masters Brands operates 26 branches across 11 states and employs nearly 800 team members. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded by brothers Marc and Paul Terwilliger, OTT has been serving homeowners in South Florida since 1987 and operates in both the Miami-Dade County and Broward County markets. 

Following the acquisition, OTT will operate under its existing trade name and continue to serve its customer base through the existing OTT team, who join the company as employees.

“OTT represents a strategic acquisition and increases our footprint in the highly attractive Florida market,” says Andy Kadrich, CEO of Turf Masters Brands. “We are thrilled to welcome OTT to the Turf Masters Brands platform and look forward to providing continued career growth opportunities for employees and a broader range of services to our customers.”

HCI Equity Partners acquires Custom Lawn Care

Custom is a second-generation, family-owned provider of lawn care treatment services to residential and commercial customers in the Pittsburgh metro area.

HCI Equity Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm, has acquired Custom Lawn Care. This is the second investment in HCI’s thesis-driven strategy to consolidate companies in the residential lawn care treatment, tree and shrub services and pest control markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Based in Butler, Pa., Custom is a second-generation, family-owned provider of lawn care treatment services to residential and commercial customers in the Pittsburgh metro area. The company specializes in lawn care, tree and shrub care, tick and pest control, aeration and hydroseeding.

HCI’s acquisition of Custom provides its lawn care treatment platform with geographic expansion into a second Pennsylvania market, as Grasshopper Lawns, the first acquisition completed within the platform, is located adjacently in Larksville, Pennsylvania.

Custom is led by brothers Rick and Robb Ritenour, who will remain with the company after the transaction and continue to run the day-to-day operations.

“We’re very impressed by the Ritenour family and the high standard of service and customer satisfaction that Custom has established among its customers in the Pittsburgh metro area,” says Nate Novak, principal at HCI. “Growing the platform’s presence in Pennsylvania and the broader Mid-Atlantic is a key priority, and the acquisition of Custom is a positive step in that direction.”

“The HCI team has been great to work with and stuck to their word the whole process,” says Rick Ritenour of Custom. “We are excited to partner together and help HCI build a leading lawn care platform in Pennsylvania and beyond.”

“Our vision is to build a leading player in the lawn care industry, and Custom is a strong addition," says Doug McCormick, Managing Partner at HCI. "Custom brings an excellent customer-focused service model and expands the platform to a second market in Pennsylvania. We look forward to partnering with the Ritenour family and entire Custom team.”

Arbor Tree Service joins Davey Tree

The company’s 27 employees will all be continuing work with Arbor Tree as part of Davey’s Residential/Commercial (R/C) service line.

The Davey Tree Expert Company added Arbor Tree Service of Attica, Mich., to its family of brands.

Arbor Tree has provided residential and commercial tree care and plant health care to the Greater Detroit area since 1995, with a heavy concentration of work in commercial properties, such as condominiums and homeowner associations. Its 27 employees will all be continuing work with Arbor Tree as part of Davey’s Residential/Commercial (R/C) service line.

“I’m excited for our Arbor Tree team to join Davey because of the additional support and resources Davey offers,” says Dan Milliken, owner of Arbor Tree. “One of the biggest benefits Davey offers is access to the Davey Institute, an industry-leading research and diagnostic laboratory, which will provide our team and clients with technical support from the scientists there.

 “On top of the additional resources from the Institute, Davey is the perfect fit for us because Davey also puts an importance on quality service and customer satisfaction just like we do here at Arbor Tree,” Milliken adds. “I’m looking forward to watching our team have the chance to learn and advance in their careers with the endless opportunities offered at Davey, as well as witnessing the enhanced benefits our clients will notice through the Arbor Tree team they’ve come to know.”

“It’s exciting to be bringing on another team to the Davey family because we’ll be able to provide some great educational advancements through our Institute to Arbor Tree employees, as well as provide them with the opportunity to become employee owners of our company,” says Dave Bargerstock, operations manager, Great Lakes West, Residential/Commercial (R/C) services.

Principium Capital and White Oak Capital Partners merge

The companies provide M&A and other investment banking services for lawn, landscape and other facility and residential services.

Principium | White Oak has been formed to provide mergers & acquisitions and investment banking services to the lawn, landscape, home and facilities services sectors.

Principium | White Oak brings together the resources of Principium Capital and White Oak Capital Partners, which will operate as a single team with a common identity in providing these services.

The partners of Principium | White Oak — Ron Edmonds, Matt Stemmler and Neil Roberson — have advised on numerous transactions in the lawn, landscape and other service industries over the past 20 years.

Edmonds of Principium has provided M&A advisory services to the green industry through Principium for 20 years. He is an advisor, author and speaker in the green industry.

Prior to co-founding White Oak, Stemmler served as senior director of mergers & acquisitions for ServiceMaster Global then parent company of home and commercial services businesses, including Terminix (pest control), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), among other brands.

Prior to ServiceMaster, Matt worked in the investment banking division at Raymond James where he advised numerous business owners and institutional capital providers through sell-side and buy-side M&A transactions.

Prior to co-founding White Oak, Roberson worked in the investment banking division at Raymond James focusing on public equity offerings, mergers & acquisitions and financial advisory engagements primarily for financial services companies.

“We now have greater capacity to successfully handle transactions for a wide range of businesses in these sectors,” Edmonds says.

“We look forward to serving an even wider range of business owners meeting their merger & acquisition and other investment banking needs.”

STIHL names Chris Keffer as president, CEO

He succeeds Terry Horan, who has been appointed to the board of directors.

STIHL's Chris Keffer, previously the senior vice president of sales and marketing, has been promoted to president and CEO and will assume this position in August.

He succeeds Terry Horan, who has been appointed to the board of directors.

“Terry has the heartfelt thanks of the Stihl family for his exceptional leadership,” says Dr. Nikolas Stihl, chairman of the advisory and supervisory boards at the STIHL Group. “He has built a strong leadership team and established the foundation for significant growth through a demonstrated commitment to our loyal distribution network and local STIHL Dealers, focusing the organization on winning as one team.” 

“The USA is by far our most important market worldwide. These appointments provide stability and continuity, which are critical to our long-term strategic and operational success," says Michael Traub, the STIHL chairman of the executive board. “Chris has quickly established himself as an innovator and leader and has a keen understanding of our market and our customers.

“Working on this marquee brand alongside our loyal and dedicated workforce has been the pinnacle of my 37-year professional career,” Horan says. “I look forward to supporting Chris and the Executive Council, as together we continue our legacy of market leadership.”

“I would like to thank Terry, the STIHL Board and the Stihl family for their confidence in me,” Keffer says. “STIHL has always had a long-term strategic outlook. So, while our market may be facing short-term challenges, we see tremendous opportunity in our future. We have the people, products, programs and partners to grow our position as the leading authority in the gas and battery outdoor power equipment markets.”

Focal Pointe acquires 3 companies

In total, the acquisition adds 220 employees across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Focal Pointe Holdings, a landscape services company located in Caseyville, Illinois, has acquired three privately-owned landscape companies: Landworks in Kansas City, Kansas; Rite-A-Way Lawn Care in Cottleville, Missouri; and Signature Landscape in Oklahoma City. 

Together, these acquisitions are expected to contribute 39% to total Focal Pointe revenue for fiscal year 2023. In total, the acquisition adds 220 employees across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, and represents a combined client portfolio in excess of $17 million.

“Putting people first, whether it’s our employees, customers, or the people in our communities, is central to who we are,” says CEO and Founder, John Munie. “When visiting with team members throughout the company, I’d ask ‘if we could design the best company on earth to work for, what would that look like?’ They said it would be a company that they could help build and where they could all grow.”

Only Signature Landscape will be retaining its name. Signature CEO Brett Gordon will become Focal Pointe’s new COO.

Landworks, located in Johnson County and serving the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, will be rebranded as Focal Pointe. Its owners, Jeff and Courtney Welch, joined the Focal Pointe team.

Rite-A-Way CEO Brad Striker will retain their firm’s large tree business, with Focal Pointe acquiring Rite-A-Way’s snow and landscape operations in St. Louis/St. Charles, Missouri.

Focal Pointe executive director Bruce K. Wilson and board members Verne Harnish, Tim Spihlman, Kris Jakel and the late Kevin Kehoe acted as M&A strategic advisors.

Former Focal Pointe Operations Director, Brian Brueggemann, has returned to the firm in a consulting role to lead operations integration.

September 2023
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