On April 25, 2011, The ServiceMaster Company announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its commercial landscaping business, TruGreen LandCare, to an affiliate of Aurora Capital Group.

TruGreen LandCare is a leading U.S. provider of landscape maintenance services to commercial, industrial and municipal customers.  It will continue to offer a comprehensive suite of landscaping services through a network of 60 branches in 17 states.  The sale of TruGreen LandCare’s business does not impact ServiceMaster’s TruGreen lawn care unit, which provides residential and commercial lawn, tree and shrub care to 14,000 commercial customers within the United States and Canada.

Anthony DiSimone, Manager Partner of Aurora Resurgence, said, “We are pleased to partner with TruGreen LandCare and its experienced management team, led by Mac McIlvried.  We are very excited about the company’s growth prospects as well as its ability to continue to deliver outstanding service to its customers and provide great opportunities for its employees.”

Gerald L. Parsky, Chairman of Aurora Capital Group, said, “TruGreen LandCare is another great addition to the outstanding portfolio of Aurora Capital Group companies.  Aurora Capital Group has a long track record of creating value through helping middle market companies achieve their full potential.”

Hank Mullany, chief executive officer of ServiceMaster, said, “Like all companies, we continuously review our businesses to ensure we are maximizing value for our investors by providing outstanding service for our customers. Our decision to sell to Aurora Resurgence allows us to concentrate on our core residential and commercial businesses.”

TruGreen LandCare dates to the late 1990s when ServiceMaster acquired a series of commercial landscaping and related businesses through its TruGreen subsidiary.  In March, 1999, ServiceMaster acquired Landcare USA, Inc. in a transaction which included the issuance of ServiceMaster shares valued in at $191 million and the assumption of debt totaling approximately $140 million.  After the acquisition of Landcare USA, ServiceMaster reported that it operated 140 landscaping branches in 28 states throughout the United States.

At the time of Landcare USA acquisition, ServiceMaster reported that the combined landscape services operations had annual revenues of approximately $550 million.  After a long period of disappointing performance and downsizing, ServiceMaster reported $238 million in revenues for its TruGreen Landcare segment in 2010.

Aurora Resurgence specializes in the acquisition of middle market companies.  According to its website, it targets complex situations that are created by operational or financial challenges either within a company or a broader industry and act as a constructive partner with management teams and other stakeholders to help drive financial growth and operational improvements.

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