The Davey Tree Expert Company has announced the acquisition of the assets of Arborel Tree Service, a residential tree and lawn care company operating in Pittsburgh.

Arborel provides specialized tree and plant health care services, lawn fertilization and pest management to clients in the greater Pittsburgh area. Robert Kruljac established Arborel in 2001.

“Myself and my employees are excited to join the Davey team,” Kruljac said. “We look forward to joining the culture of employee ownership and appreciate the shared passion for high-quality client service.”

Jim Houston, vice president and general manager, Eastern U.S. Residential/Commercial operations, said Davey is excited to welcome Arborel’s talented team of safety-conscious employees.

“High-quality client service is a top priority for Davey and Arborel, and now clients of Arborel will also benefit from access to Davey’s diversified service offerings, technology and equipment resources, and research and development capabilities,” Houston said. “In addition, Arborel employees have the opportunity to advance their careers by accessing Davey’s industry-leading education and training programs.”

Clients of Arborel will now be served by Davey’s three Residential/Commercial (R/C) offices located in the Pittsburgh area. Kruljac will serve as assistant district manager of Davey’s North Pittsburgh R/C office, whose district manager is Matt Fromm.

Fromm is a graduate of the Davey Institute of Tree Sciences, which is Davey’s flagship training program in biological sciences, safety, tree and plant care and management techniques. He is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist®. Fromm holds a bachelor’s degree in forest biology and a master’s degree in plant pathology, both from Penn State University.

Kruljac is an ISA Certified Arborist and a president elect of the Penn-Del Chapter of the ISA. Kruljac studied environmental sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Kruljac also has been a supporter of Tree Pittsburgh, a non-profit working to enhance the city’s tree canopy, and he was named Tree Pittsburgh’s Corporate Partner of the Year in 2015.

The post Davey Acquires Arborel Tree Service in Pittsburgh appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

The Davey Tree Expert Company  acquired Arborguard, Inc. based in Atlanta.

The following article is based on the press release.

Davey Tree Acquires Lawn Logic LandscapingThe Davey Tree Expert Company announced the acquisition of Arborguard, Inc., a residential and commercial tree care company based in Atlanta with operations in Charlotte.

Arborguard Tree Specialists has been providing specialized tree and plant health care services to residential and commercial clients in the Southeast, including caring for some of the region’s prestigious golf courses and resorts, since 1981.

“This new chapter of Arborguard will help us deliver expanded tree care to our clients in the greater Atlanta and Charlotte areas,” said Spence Rosenfeld, owner and founder of Arborguard.

Davey and Arborguard share many of the same core values, Rosenfeld said. “We were already aware of Davey’s reputation for integrity, innovation and leadership within the green industry. As we learned more about the company, particularly its focus on safety and environmental stewardship, the partnership seemed like a natural fit.”

Jim Stief, Davey’s executive vice president of U.S. residential operations, pointed out that Davey offers tremendous benefits to Arborguard’s clients and employees.

“Clients of Arborguard now have access to Davey’s diversified service offerings, technology and equipment resources, and research and development capabilities provided by the Davey Institute, all of which ensure their continuing high-quality service,” Stief said.

Stief added that Arborguard’s talented, safety-conscious employees will have the opportunity to further their professional careers by accessing Davey’s industry-leading training and education programs. As Davey employees, they also can become employee-owners of the Davey Company, the 13th largest employee-owned firm in the U.S.

Pat Covey, Davey’s president and chief operating officer, agreed that Arborguard is a good example of the type of company that will strengthen the Davey brand.

“Arborguard is a welcome addition to the Davey Tree family,” said Covey. “Like Davey Tree, Arborguard provides excellent tree care while concentrating on the client experience and quality control. Now, we can focus on sharing our mission with the greater Charlotte and Atlanta area – together.”

Arborguard’s Jamie Blackburn will serve as manager of the Atlanta office, which will complement Davey’s Atlanta Residential/Commercial office and district manager Chris Heim. Arborguard’s Barry Gemberling will serve as manager of the Charlotte location, a complement to Davey’s Charlotte R/C office and district manager Ray Betz.

The post Davey Tree Grows in the Southeast with Acquisition of Arborguard appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

Gothic Landscape, one of the largest privately owned landscape companies in North America, today announced it has acquired Orange County, California-based Terra Pacific Landscape, one of the premier landscape service providers to Class A commercial properties in Southern California.

Gothic has been family owned and operated since 1984. Headquartered in Valencia, CA, with regional offices in Arizona and Nevada, Gothic provides landscape construction and maintenance services. Terra Pacific, founded in 1988, has branch offices in San Diego, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. It is managed by founder and owner Richard Wingard.

“Our two companies are a perfect fit,” said Jon Georgio, chief executive officer of Gothic Landscape. “We share the cultures of family-owned businesses, we are both focused on the needs of our employees and we both are committed to providing exceptional client service.”

“This acquisition is a significant benefit to Terra’s clients and employees,” said Wingard, who will continue in a senior management role working closely with Ron Georgio, president of Gothic Landscape and chief executive of the maintenance division. “It expands the services and resources available to current Terra customers and provides professional growth and advancement opportunities for our employees. We couldn’t have found a better partner.”

“Our acquisition of Terra furthers our objective to be the best-in-class landscape services provider, extends our maintenance footprint into Orange and San Diego Counties, diversifies our portfolio of services and clients and provides additional synergies, particularly in tree, water and sustainability strategies,” Ron Georgio added. “We welcome Rich and the entire Terra family of employees to our company.”

About Gothic Landscape

Family owned and operated since 1984, Gothic Landscape employs more than 1,500 people in three states, including California, Nevada and Arizona. The company, headquartered in Valenica, CA, provides maintenance and construction services to a diverse client base, and is singularly focused on developing long-term relationships through team members committed to a culture of extraordinary service.”

About Terra Pacific Landscape

Headquartered in Santa Ana, CA, Terra Pacific Landscape is a leading Southern California landscape contractor specializing in providing premier landscape services for Class A commercial properties. Founded in 1988 by Richard Wingard, the company employs 100 employees in four offices throughout Southern California, including Santa Ana, San Diego, Anaheim and Gardena.

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You can now buy a subscription for everything from dog treats to razor blades. Music subscription services are booming as our appetite to buy tracks is replaced by our willingness to rent access to them. Starbucks now even offers coffee on subscription.

Why are so many companies leveraging the subscription business model? The obvious reason is that recurring revenue boosts your company’s value, but there are some hidden benefits to augmenting your business with a subscription offering.

Free Market Research


Finding out what your customers want is expensive. By the time you pay attendees, rent a room with a one-way mirror and buy the little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, a focus group can cost you upwards of $6,000. A statistically significant piece of quantitative research, done by a reputable polling company, might approach six figures.

With a subscription company, you get instant market research for free. Netflix knows which shows to produce based on the viewing behaviour of its subscribers. No need to ask viewers what they like, Netflix can see what they watch and rate.

For you, a subscription offering can allow you to test new ideas and gives you a direct relationship with your customers so you can see what they like first hand.

Cash Flow

Subscription companies are often criticized for being hungry for cash. Many charge by the month and then have to wait months—sometimes years—to recover the costs of winning a subscriber.

That assumes, however,

that you’re charging for your subscription by the month. If you’re selling your subscription to businesses, you may get away with charging for a year’s worth of your subscription up front. That’s what the analyst firm Gartner does, and it means they get an entire year’s worth of cash from their subscriber on day one. Costco charges its annual membership up front, which means it has billions of dollars of subscription revenue to float its retail operations.


Sitting doberman dog isolated on white

Customers can be promiscuous. You may have a perfectly satisfied customer but if they see an offer from one of your competitors, they might jump ship to save a few bucks. However, if you lock your customers into a subscription, they may be less tempted to try a competitor since they have already made an investment with you.

One of the reasons Amazon Prime is so profitable is that Prime subscribers buy more and are stickier than non-Prime subscribers. Prime subscribers want to get their money’s worth, so they buy a wider swath of products from Amazon and are less tempted by competitive offers.

The obvious reason to launch a subscription offering of your own is that the predictable recurring revenue will boost the value of your company. And while that’s certainly true, the hidden benefits may even be more important.

The post Three Surprising Reasons to Offer a Subscription appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

Juniper Landscaping of Fort Meyers, Florida, has been recapitalized by ZS Fund.

Juniper Landscaping is a major provider of landscaping services to commercial customers in the single-family and multi-family real estate markets in Southwest Florida. The Company operates out of four locations and serves residential developers, homeowners associations and property management companies. Juniper Landscaping was founded in 2003. The Company offers a full-suite of landscaping services including design, installation, and maintenance and is recognized as a market leader and trusted partner in the Southwest Florida building market. Juniper Landscaping has approximately 350 employees and is headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida.  Juniper ranked 42 on both the the LM150 and Lawn & Landscape 100 in 2016.

The post Juniper Landscaping Recapitalized by ZS Fund appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

Blondie’s Treehouse, Inc. is proud to announce a new partnership with Opiary, a Brooklyn-based green design and high-end landscape company founded in 2012 by Robert Remer, an architect, sculptor, and garden designer.

Robert Remer’s visionary products remind us that good design has soul AND an irreverent sense of humor.The Opiary line of unique custom plantersaresculptural, organic, sensuousshapes informed by a completely modern take on nature and abstract art, made with ancient and cutting edge materials. Lines include containers forrooftops, terraces, and gardens, fountains, green walls, indoor outdoor furniture, and sculpture, as well as bespoke pieces employing innovative GFRC fabrication.

Robert Remer describes the partnership: ‘Opiary is very pleased with theopportunity topartner with such a large, capable, and respected green design firm as BTH.

Thepartnershipwill give Blondie’s Treehouse its first fabrication studio dedicated to designing and producing planters, containers, and furniture, allowing Blondie’s Treehouse to offer clients unprecedented levels ofeditorialdesign.

Opiary maintains offices and workspace in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, a world renowned design hub and home to Robert Remer’s ancestral roots. Opiary’s team of artisans joins the BTH family, effective immediately.

‘To preserve our place as the leading full-service landscape design/build firm in New York City, we must remain a source for cutting edge products, and Robert Remer’s one-of-a-kind sculptural creations are just that- gorgeous, functional and completely unique. They really are the perfect fit for our designs and our clients, says Howard K. Freilich, President and CEO of Blondie’s Treehouse. ‘Together Blondie’s Treehouse and Opiary will better provide our clients with a blend of smart, custom design and the expertise of a busy, productive team of landscape construction professionals.

 Blondie’s Treehouse is a leading full services landscape design/build/maintain firm serving clients in the Tri-State area and nationally. Since being founded in 1979, BTH has grown from a local interior plant care company to a national vendor with hundreds of clients representing projects of all sizes, and over 100 full time employees. The brainchild of President and CEO Howard K. Freilich, Blondie’s Treehouse continues to grow, accruing top industry talent and serving clients by creating distinctive green spaces for people to enjoy.

Opiary is a respected green design and landscape company based in Brooklyn, NY. It’s unique, innovative made-to-order planters and furniture are truly one of a kind, and reflect the cohesion of high design and modern fabrication techniques.

The post New York’s Blondie’s Treehouse Merges with Brooklyn’s Opiary appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

blue exit sign (isolated on white background)

Stephanie Breedlove started Breedlove & Associates in 1992 as a way to pay her nanny. The big payroll processors weren’t interested in dealing with one person’s wages and doing it themselves was complicated and time-consuming, too much for the then overwhelmed Breedloves.

Breedlove saw a business opportunity and started a payroll company for parents who needed to pay their nannies. By 2012, Breedlove & Associates had grown to $9MM in revenue and then she received a $54MM acquisition offer.

To give you some context of how incredible it is to sell a $9MM business for $54MM let’s look at the numbers. At The Value Builder System™, more than 25,000 business owners have completed the Value Builder Score questionnaire, part of which asks about any acquisition offers they may have received. The average multiple offered is 3.76 times pre-tax profit. Even the best-performing businesses, those with a Value Builder Score of 80+, only get offers of 6.27 times pre-tax profit on average. Breedlove got close to six times revenue.

What did Breedlove do right? We’re going to look at the five things Breedlove did—and that you can do—to drive up the value of a business.

  1. Sell Less Stuff to More People

When Breedlove hit $30K per month in revenue, she quit her job at Accenture (formerly Anderson Consulting) and devoted herself to Breedlove & Associates full-time. To grow, she had a choice: sell more to her existing customers (e.g. busy couples often need lawn-care, house-cleaning, or grocery-delivery services) or stick with her niche of paying nannies. Most consultants and experts would say it’s easier to sell more to existing customers (and they’re right), but it doesn’t make your business more valuable. Breedlove decided to stick to her niche and find more parents who needed to pay their nannies, and that decision laid the foundation for a more valuable business.

Investors from Warren Buffet look for companies with a deep and wide competitive moat that gives the owner pricing authority. When you have a differentiated product or service, we call it having The Monopoly Control and companies with a monopoly get significantly higher acquisition offers.

Rather than selling existing customers generic services in commoditized markets, Breedlove focused on selling one thing to as many customers as she could find.

  1. Strive for 50%+ Net Promoter Score

One feature that interested acquirers look for is your customer satisfaction levels. Increasingly, they are turning to the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measure of this. NPS was developed by Fred Reichheld and his team at Satmetrix, who discovered that your customers’ willingness to refer you to their friends or colleagues is highly predictive of your company’s future growth rate.

The NPS approach is to ask your customers how willing they would be to refer your company to a friend or colleague, on a scale of 0 to 10. They are then categorized into Promoters (9s and 10s), Passives (7s and 8s) or Detractors (0–6s). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Promoters from the percentage of Detractors. Most businesses achieve an NPS of 10% to 15%, while the very best companies (think Apple and Amazon) get scores of 50% or more.

Breedlove obsessed over her company’s NPS and realized the key to driving it up was perfecting the first few interactions with a new customer. When you call a big payroll company looking for a service to pay your nanny, the response can be underwhelming. With only one person to pay, you are often relegated to the most junior staff member and even they would rather be dealing with a larger client.

When you call Breedlove, by contrast, you get a team of professionals totally focused on setting you up. You’re not an afterthought. You’re not passed on. Instead, you get the best onboarding talent the company has to offer.

This set-up team was a big part of how Breedlove achieved an astonishing 78% NPS.

  1. Create Recurring Revenue Streams

The third thing that made Breedlove’s company attractive was recurring revenue.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, recurring revenue models give acquirers more confidence that the business will keep going strong after you leave.

By 2012, Breedlove & Associates had grown to $9MM and, given the nature of the payroll business, 100% of their revenue was recurring.

  1. Reduce Reliance on Customers, Employees and Suppliers

Breedlove’s company was also attractive to buyers because she had a highly diversified customer base with no single customer representing even close to 1% of her revenue. If more than 10% to 15% of your revenue comes from one buyer, you can expect prospective acquirers to ask a lot more questions.

Customer concentration is one of three factors that make up The Switzerland Structure Module. The Switzerland Structure measures your business’ dependence on a single customer, employee or supplier.

  1. Find an Acquirer You Can Help Grow

By 2012, Breedlove & Associates was growing 17% per year, which is good but not blow-your-mind good. So how did she attract such an incredible acquisition offer? The trick was showing her acquirer how they could grow.

In Breedlove’s case, she sold her company to Think of as the Angie’s List of care providers (e.g. child care, senior care, etc.). If you need someone to care for your kids or an elderly relative, you enter your address into their website and will give you a list of vetted caregivers in your area.

At the time of the acquisition, Breedlove had 10,000 customers and had seven million members. Breedlove argued that if just 1% of’s members used Breedlove’s payroll service, it would equate to 7X growth in Breedlove & Associates almost overnight.

In 2012, acquired Breedlove & Associates for $54MM—an outstanding exit made possible by Breedlove’s focus on what drove her company’s value, not just their top-line revenue.

The post The Anatomy of a Successful Exit appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

Magnolia Landscaping Corporation (“MLC”) has been acquired by Borst Landscape & Design (“BLD”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1975, MLC provides landscape design & build and property maintenance services for its customers in the Old Tappan, River Vale, Hillsdale, Washington Township, Woodcliff Lake and surrounding areas in New Jersey. MLC is fully certified by the State of New Jersey and is headquartered in Old Tappan, NJ. For more information on MLC, please visit their website at Founded 1989, BLD offers various landscaping services in Northern New Jersey. BLD is headquartered in Allendale, NJ. For more information on BLD, please visit their website at

The post Borst Landscape Acquires Magnolia Landscaping Corporation in New Jersey appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.


Mountain Top Landscaping and Kevin’s Lawn Service have merged and will be operating under J&M Outdoor Enterprises and trading as Kevin’s Lawn Service and Mountain Top Landscaping.

After over 25 years of running Mountain Top Landscaping, Carl Peterson has always urged his clients to educate themselves on the work they want done to their homes, to ensure the contractor they choose will do the job right the first time. With this mindset, Carl has been teaching ICPI and NCMA courses for the past five years and has held certifications in both organizations for over 15 years. This past year, Carl made the decision to focus more on educating the contractors and landscapers but who could he trust to run his business? Only one person came to mind, Kevin Ebner.

Working side by side for nearly 10 years, Carl and Kevin have established a genuine friendship. Both Carl and Kevin started their companies while in high school, and both have always focused on providing superior service to their customers. Kevin’s Lawn Service has been a family run company since the beginning, and Kevin has always considered his own clients as part of his extended family. Founded in 2000, Kevin’s Lawn Service LLC., has now grown into a successful mid-sized company;big enough to do large-scale jobs, but dedicated to continuing to focus on providing detailed and personalized service. Kevin has come a long way from working with a $140 push mower, trimmer and a blower.
“We are focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet and exceed your expectations,” stated Kevin Ebner.

Combining two of the best landscaping teams in the area would mean better service for both companies’ customers, while allowing for future potential growth. Mountain Top primarily focused more on the commercial market and hardscapes, while Kevin’s Lawn Service primarily worked on lawn maintenance. By merging these companies together, J&M OutdoorEnterprises will now offer the complete package.

“I’m excited to be able to continue to pursue my passion and trust Kevin to oversee the day-to-day operations, while still being a part of the company. I am confident that this merger will be beneficial for our customers, and am excited to start this new chapter with Kevin leading the team,” Carl declared.

The post Mountain Top Landscaping and Kevin’s Lawn Service Merge in New Jersey appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

Landscape Workshop recently completed the acquisition of Gro’s landscape maintenance contracts. Landscape Workshop is fully committed to providing high quality service and proactive management to all existing and new customers while exceeding expectations and creating “uncommon outdoor spaces” for additional customers throughout its footprint. Landscape Workshop is looking forward to expanding its presence in Birmingham and throughout the Southeast by its acquisition of Gro’s landscape business.

The sale of Gro’s landscaping business was a part of a strategic re-alignment of the business of StoneRiver Company, Gro’s ultimate parent company, and StoneRiver’s increased focus on its real estate acquisition, development and management activities. StoneRiver currently owns and/or manages real estate assets in 11 different states.

Gro was initially formed by StoneRiver to perform landscape services predominantly on StoneRiver properties. However, over the last 5 years, Gro significantly increased its presence in the Birmingham market and performed quality landscape maintenance and installation services for numerous apartment complexes, retailers, office complexes and property management firms in the metro area. According to Joseph Welden, StoneRiver’s President, “a primary goal of StoneRiver in the divestiture of Gro’s landscape business was finding a company that shares its focus on delivering high quality landscape services for its customers.” As such, Landscape Workshop was selected, in large part, for its outstanding reputation and its over 30-year record of professionalism and client satisfaction.

Landscape Workshop[ is a [portfolio company of McKinney Capital.

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