ScottsMiracle-Gro sells TruGreen stake to retire debt

The company sold its 30 percent stake for $234 million to refocus its efforts on the lawn and garden market.

March 22, 2019

MARYSVILLE, Ohio – The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company recently announced that it has sold its approximate 30 percent stake in TruGreen to the majority owner, in a transaction in which ScottsMiracle-Gro received approximately $234 million.

In 2016, the company contributed its wholly owned subsidiary, Scotts LawnService, into a joint venture with TruGreen, creating one of the largest lawn service companies in the U.S.

Seventy percent of the joint venture was owned by the private equity firm Clayton Dublier & Rice, its co-investors and TruGreen management, with the balance owned by ScottsMiracle-Gro. In addition to the sale, ScottsMiracle-Gro also received cash proceeds of another $18.4 million in connection with the assignment to a third party of debt of the joint venture. The combined proceeds, approximately $120 to 140 million on an after-tax basis, will immediately be applied to reduce the company’s indebtedness.

Upon the creation of the joint venture, ScottsMiracle-Gro received an approximate $200 million tax deferred dividend. In 2017, it received another tax-deferred dividend of approximately $90 million. Those two payments were essentially equal to the initial valuation placed on Scotts LawnService when the joint venture was established.