Mariani Landscape announces record growth, numerous acquisitions

The company plans on extending into multiple states in the near future.

Mariani Landscape has acquired seven family-owned companies and experienced 350% growth over the past 18 months, a record for the company.

The companies acquired are:

• Berghoff Design Group / BDG Maintenance; Phoenix

• Designs by Sundown; Denver

• Hoffman Landscapes; Wilton, Connecticut

• NatureWorks Landscape Services, Walpole, Mass

• Rocco Fiore & Sons, Libertyville, Illinois

• RP Marzilli; Boston

• Woodlawns Landscape Company; Chicago

Three of the acquired companies appeared on Lawn & Landscape’s 2022 Top 100 list, which is based off 2021 revenue: RP Marzilli, number 43 with $53.9 million in revenue; Designs by Sundown, tied at 71 with revenue of $36 million; and Berghoff Design, number 75 with 2021 revenue of $34.6 million.

CI Capital holds a majority investment in Mariani Landscape, but current Chairman Frank Mariani will remain actively involved in the company.

CI Capital previously owned SavATree before selling to Apax in September of 2021.

The acquired companies are maintaining their brands and leadership teams.

“As we seek to create the best residential landscape company in the world, we are partnering with companies that are the best at what they do in their local markets. We trust them and fully support their management teams, and we add value by creating services that elevate their client and associate experiences,” Frank Mariani said.

“We didn’t want to replicate what we’ve seen in the commercial landscape industry, where companies were absorbed, and local management was removed. The companies that have joined us so far have set a great precedent that this is a business model that works well and benefits everyone.”

Bob Marzilli, president of RP Marzilli, added that, “Companies that join Mariani Landscape will find they won’t lose their identity and that they’re still in control of their destinies. When joining our group, owners remain an integral part of their company. They’re not simply selling their companies and leaving.”

One resource that the Mariani Landscape family of companies offers is what Mariani Landscape refers to as the “ultimate peer group.” This is a platform service in which leadership teams from across all companies in the Mariani family can draw insights, share experiences and solve problems.

“The peer group that has been created through the Mariani family of companies is invaluable. Everyone brings an incredible amount of knowledge and experience to the table,” said Jeff Berghoff, president of Berghoff Design Group.

Charlie Noll, president and founder of Woodlawns Landscape Company in Chicago said the acquired companies all operate independently.

“We share resources and services, but the leadership team at Mariani trusts me to run my company, and doesn’t want to change that,” he said.

The new Mariani Landscape family of companies will also have a focus on green initiatives and landscaping best practices.

“Our industry hasn’t progressed at the rate of other industries with respect to adopting technology and prioritizing things like career growth,” said Matt Gramer, president of NatureWorks Landscape Services in Massachusetts. “We at Mariani plan to move the needle in that regard and set the tone for innovation for the industry.”

CenterOak Partners forms Turf Masters Lawn Care Services

The company combines Turf Masters Lawncare, All Turf Holdings and Green Group Holdings.

CenterOak Partners, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has formed Turf Masters Lawn Care Services, a residential lawn services platform created through the combination of three providers: Turf Masters Lawncare, All Turf Holdings and Green Group Holdings.

As part of the transaction, the existing owners and management teams will continue to be active and will have an equity interest in the company.

Andy Kadrich, the founder of Turf Masters, will lead the company as CEO. CenterOak’s investment will provide capital to support the growth of the newly formed entity. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Turf Masters Lawn Care Services provides recurring lawn, tree and shrub care services to over 100,000 customers annually. The company currently operates over 20 branches across 10 states and plans to grow organically and through add-on acquisitions.

“Turf Masters, All Turf and Green Group are high performing, leading residential lawn businesses led by strong local management teams focused on best-in-class customer service,” said Jason Sutherland, co-managing partner of CenterOak. “CenterOak has a long history of partnering with talented teams to support rapid growth in highly fragmented industries. We look forward to expanding the Company’s customer base, increasing service offerings, and recruiting additional strong local market leaders to join our new platform.”

“We are excited to have CenterOak’s resources and experience supporting our family-owned business in this next phase of growth,” said Andy Kadrich, CEO and founder of Turf Masters. “With CenterOak’s support, we have an opportunity to scale quickly by investing in our existing markets and by acquiring passionate, talented and customer service-focused operators in the residential lawn services industry.”

SavATree merges with Tulsa’s Preaus Landscape

This marks SavATree’s first entry in the Oklahoma market.

SavATree has merged with Oklahoma-based Preaus Landscape of Tulsa. This merger marks SavATree’s first office in the state.

Preaus Landscape of Tulsa specializes in care for residential and commercial clients, as well as numerous marquee properties in the Tulsa community including Philbrook Museum of Art, The Gathering Place, University of Tulsa, Utica Square Shopping Center, Garden Park HOA and the Tulsa Technology Center. Founders and Owners of Preaus Landscape of Tulsa Bill and Ken Preaus, and Co-Owner Tyler Cook, along with their dedicated team, will remain on board with SavATree as part of their ongoing commitment to building and maintaining quality relationships.

“We are very excited to be working with SavATree, a company that has a high level of professionalism and a great reputation in the industry,” Cook said. “This partnership will provide our customers with the benefit of expanded programs, enhanced service offerings, and deeper resources to continue caring for their landscapes.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Preaus Landscape aboard, a highly reputable company that has operated in the Tulsa region for 40 years,” said SavATree CEO Carmine Schiavone. “We look forward to supporting clients in Tulsa with expanded service lines and science-backed treatment options to continue keeping their landscapes healthy and safe.”

Verde Property Services acquires GreenRidge Landscaping

Verde is doing business as Juniper Landscape Company, a San Diego-based company.

Verde property services, DBA Juniper Landscape, has acquired substantively all assets of La Mesa based GreenRidge Landscaping.

Juniper Landscape Company, a San Diego-based provider of commercial and residential landscaping maintenance, and design-build services, has served the greater San Diego market for more than 40 years. The acquisition of GreenRidge will allow for the continued expansion of Juniper’s landscape maintenance portfolio which now represents the majority of its business.

“Serving similar markets and customers, the acquisition of GreenRidge presents an obvious opportunity as we continue to invest in our own backyards,” said Gabriel Galvez, one of Verde’s principal investors.

Galvez said the company’s acquisition, along with significant organic growth experienced in the last year will result in a nearly 400% growth in maintenance revenues.

Neighborly acquires Lawn Pride in Indianapolis

Founded 30 years ago, Lawn Pride has roughly 100 full-time employees.

Neighborly, the parent company for The Grounds Guys, a Lawn & Landscape Top 100 company, has acquired Lawn Pride, a professional lawn care company in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The company expects to begin franchising the Lawn Pride brand in the U.S. in 2023. With this acquisition, Neighborly has reached a milestone with now more than 30 home service brands globally across 18 service verticals.

Joshua Sevick, president of The Grounds Guys, will oversee the integration of Lawn Pride.

“At Neighborly, we believe in the greater power of our collective, and welcoming Lawn Pride to our family of brands allows us to expand our offerings and deepen connections with homeowners,” said Mike Bidwell, president and CEO of Neighborly. “Lawn Pride’s fertilization, weed control, aeration and overseeding services have earned a remarkably high net promoter score and customer retention rate. We see tremendous opportunity to grow the brand to new heights beyond its home market.”

Andrew Neher founded Lawn Pride over 30 years ago. The company has roughly 100 full-time employees.

“While still in college, I started my entrepreneurial journey in lawn care. With a lot of hard work and a highly dedicated and talented team, we built Lawn Pride into the thriving business it is today,” Neher said. “Now, it’s time for the Lawn Pride team and the Neighborly team to collaboratively write the company’s exciting next chapters. Guided by Neighborly’s entrepreneurial spirit, leadership team, deep bench and experience in home services, and a great capacity to grow the business, this is clearly the right next step in our evolution.”

Both brands will operate independently with two distinct service models and systems under Neighborly’s direction, providing unique value to customers who look to Neighborly as their hub for home services.

“As I’ve witnessed firsthand with The Grounds Guys, Neighborly’s commitment to investing in the brands under its umbrella through the organization’s proven franchise model is a game-changer for achieving accelerated brand growth,” said Sevick. “I look forward to seeing Lawn Pride experience the same success under Neighborly that we’ve witnessed across all of our home service brands.”

OLS acquires Stone Garden

Based in Wilmington, N.C., Stone Garden was founded in 1999 by Nina Brown.

Outdoor Living Supply (“OLS”), a distribution platform for outdoor living products has acquired Stone Garden, an independent distributor of natural and cultured stone, landscape and hardscape supplies to the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. This acquisition further strengthens OLS’s presence in the Carolinas and extends its footprint into the coastal market.

Based in Wilmington, N.C., Stone Garden was founded in 1999 by Nina Brown.

Brown will continue to lead the company’s experienced team of employees, ensuring continuity and consistency for customers and supplier partners.

“We are excited to welcome Nina and her dedicated team to the OLS family of companies. This represents our fifth location in North Carolina and our first location in the fast-growing coastal market,” said Brian Price, CEO of OLS. “Nina has built an outstanding business and shares our commitment to providing an exceptional customer experience. We look forward to growing with Stone Garden for years to come.”

“For over 23 years, Stone Garden has been a trusted partner to our community of residential and commercial customers,” Brown added. “Looking ahead, our partnership with OLS will allow us to continue doing what has made us successful while also creating new growth opportunities for the company, as well as for our employees and business partners. I am thrilled OLS shares our commitment to customer service and to the legacy of our brand.”

Cumberland Landscape Group acquires 3 Atlanta landscaping companies

The acquisition includes Property Masters Landscape & Design, Property Masters Landscape Maintenance and Property Masters Commercial Landscaping.

Cumberland Landscape Group, a regional, full-service commercial landscaping company, has expanded its presence and services in metro Atlanta with the acquisition of three companies: Property Masters Landscape & Design, Property Masters Landscape Maintenance and Property Masters Commercial Landscaping.

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, the Property Masters Landscaping brand has earned a reputation for maximizing property value for customers through expert landscape installation and maintenance. “The acquisition of Property Masters’ landscaping, design and maintenance companies allows us to deepen our commercial capabilities and expand our best-in-class services to commercial and residential customers throughout greater Atlanta,” said Billy Van Eaton, founder and CEO of Cumberland Landscape Group.

“We are excited to welcome Property Masters’ professionals to our diverse and highly skilled team as we continue providing custom solutions to meet and exceed each unique property need.” Atlanta-based Cumberland Landscape Group is a recognized leader in providing commercial landscaping and facility management to small businesses and large property management firms.

Through this acquisition, the company is broadening its services to include Commercial Maintenance, Commercial Landscape Construction and Residential Landscape Design and Build. Approximately 110 employees from Property Masters will join the Cumberland family.

Kohler executive chairman dies

Herbert Vollrath Kohler, Jr. passed away on Sept. 3, 2022.

Kohler Co. Executive Chairman Herbert Vollrath Kohler, Jr. passed away on Sept. 3, 2022, in Kohler, Wisconsin. He was 83. His ideas and hands-on leadership transformed the plumbing products manufacturer founded by his grandfather into a global and diverse family of businesses synonymous with unmatched quality, creativity and bold innovation.

He put his beloved home state of Wisconsin on the map as a global golf destination culminating with the Ryder Cup in 2021.

Herb’s personal mission was to create delight. For him, there was no halfway. To warrant the “KOHLER” nameplate, a product had to be more than durable, functional and attractive. It had to be joyful and memorable.

“His zest for life, adventure and impact inspires all of us. We traveled together, celebrated together, and worked together. He was all in, all the time, leaving an indelible mark on how we live our lives today and carry on his legacy,” said his family.

He was admired by many as an accomplished, dynamic leader; independent-minded entrepreneur; courageous innovator; and passionate creative. Herb, more than anyone, lived and breathed Kohler Co.’s mission of providing customers with gracious living each day.

He was a big personality who was steadfast in guiding Kohler associates in the relentless pursuit of the company mission, and he took immense joy in witnessing his customers’ delight firsthand.

“If I sell you a bathtub, there has to be something about it that gives you pleasure not only at the time of the transaction. Years later, we want you to think this is one of the best buys of your life,” he once said in an interview.

“The same applies with everything we provide – an engine, generator, toilet, table, hotel room, spa service, golf course, you name it. If you think about it five years later and, inwardly or outwardly, it makes you smile and we can do this consistently, then we’re living up to our mission.”

Herb was born in Chicago on Feb. 20, 1939. His father Herbert V. Kohler, Sr., son of Kohler Co. founder John Michael Kohler, served as Board Chairman and CEO of Kohler Co. from 1940 until his death in 1968. His mother Ruth De Young Kohler was a historian and former women’s editor of the Chicago Tribune.

Herb was educated at the Kohler schools in Kohler, Wis., and at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn. As a young man, he spent many summers as a laborer on the Kohler farms and in most of the manufacturing divisions of Kohler Co.

After serving with the U.S. Army Reserve, studying at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and launching a brief acting career at Knox College in Illinois, he completed his education at Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial administration in 1965.

He rejoined Kohler Co. full-time as an R&D technician shortly after graduation. He became a director of the company in 1967, and when his father died a year later, he became Vice President of Operations.

He was named Executive Vice President in 1971, was elected Chairman of the Board and CEO in 1972, and President of the Company in 1974 at the age of 35.

In 2015, he became the company’s Executive Chairman, with son David taking the helm as president and CEO. He served Kohler Co. for 61 years.

David was named chair of the board in late September.

Landscape Workshop acquires Burning Bush Landscape in Georgia

This is the fifth acquisition in 2022 for Landscape Workshop.

Landscape Workshop has acquired Burning Bush Landscape & Turf Care based in Atlanta, Georgia.

This is the fifth acquisition in 2022 for Landscape Workshop, which ranked No. 38 on Lawn & Landscape’s Top 100 list last year.

“We are excited to have Burning Bush join our existing Atlanta operations. This acquisition increases our growth trajectory in the Atlanta market and allows us to combine our experience and expertise to provide top of the line customer service for our clients in the area,” said CEO J.T. Price. “David and his wife Debbie have built a great reputation of delivering a high-quality product with excellent customer service. With David’s help, we look forward to continuing to build on what Burning Bush has worked so hard to accomplish. Our shared values of providing exceptional service with a customer-first approach, makes this a valuable partnership for both companies and most importantly, our clients.”

As part of the transaction, Burning Bush owner David Stream is joining the Landscape Workshop Atlanta leadership team. Landscape Workshop’s Tim Christie will continue as general manager of Atlanta operations.

“It has been a pleasure working with the Landscape Workshop team on this acquisition,” Stream said. “We believe that with our combined resources and experience, we will be able to continue to deliver the exceptional quality and customer service that our customers are accustomed to. This deal will allow me to spend more time taking care of my customers and employees as we continue to grow in the Atlanta market.”

Fairway Lawns acquires Plant-It-Earth Lawn and Pest Control

The acquisition provides Fairway Lawns a stronger foothold in Florida.

Fairway Lawns has acquired Plant-It-Earth Lawn and Pest Control. The acquisition provides Fairway Lawns a stronger foothold in Florida. The Clendenin Consulting Group helped facilitate the deal.

“We are excited to join forces with the Plant-It-Earth Lawn and Pest Control team and partner with their best-in-class operations,” said Kyle DeMilt, CEO for Fairway Lawns. “The addition of Plant-It-Earth, coupled with our recent acquisition of Luv-A-Lawn, represents our growing presence in the attractive Florida market. Both of these businesses enhance Fairway Lawns’ mission of providing industry-leading quality and service to our customers. We’d like to thank The Clendenin Consulting Group for their hard work getting this transaction complete and allowing us to partner with Plant-It-Earth.”

“It was important to me to sell to a buyer who I was confident in to continue the quality of service that we have maintained since the beginning of Plant It Earth Lawn and Pest Control,” said Brett Melanson, the owner of Plant-It-Earth. “We are also pleased with the plans that Fairway has to expand the business and to create more opportunities for the people of Plant-It-Earth.”

October 2022
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