New Canaan, Connecticut, August 2009 — Gridiron Capital, LLC announced the acquisition of Dolphin Landscape, Inc. by its portfolio company Yellowstone Landscape Group, Inc. Dolphin Landscape is a commercial landscape maintenance company headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL, serving Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties. Dolphin Landscape was merged into Austin Outdoor, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yellowstone Landscape Group. Headquartered in Bunnell, Florida, Austin Outdoor is an award winning, full-service landscape firm serving commercial customers in Florida and the Bahamas. With this merger, Austin Outdoor now serves 12 Florida counties with a combined 500 employees throughout the East Central, Northeast, Central and Southeast Florida regions.
Edward Schatz, Jr., president of Austin Outdoor, said, “Dolphin Landscape was a perfect fit for our company. We were drawn to the enthusiasm of Dolphin’s leadership, their impeccable landscape care practices and their long-term client relationships. They truly understand and have a passion for the aesthetic beauty they provide in the communities they serve.”
Dolphin Landscape has been led by Kenny Lopez throughout the past 27 years. Lopez has developed the Company mainly through word of mouth and it has grown to include 150 employees with offices in Loxahatchee, Palm City and Port St. Lucie. The merger allows Lopez to pursue his strength of relationship building by taking on the role of business development professional with Austin Outdoor. All members of the Dolphin Landscape team have joined the Austin Outdoor team, expanding the resources and expertise for clients throughout the Southeast Florida region.
“I feel honored that Dolphin Landscape is now part of Austin Outdoor and the Yellowstone Landscape Group family. This strategic decision provides my clients with expanded services, resources, expertise and efficiency. Yellowstone is the type of company I was looking for with their local, focused Florida presence through Austin Outdoor. I look forward to this partnership,” said Lopez.
“Yellowstone has carved out a strong niche as the leader in innovative services adding value to its customers’ properties. The acquisition of Dolphin is consistent with Yellowstone’s strategy of partnering with superior management teams and owners to build businesses and to add value by providing the support necessary to grow and realize the companies’ full potential,” said Gridiron Capital Managing Partner Eugene Conese, Jr. “Dolphin is a premier brand and its customers will benefit from Kenny’s continued leadership and the addition of the highly skilled craftsmen of Austin Outdoor.”
About Yellowstone Landscape Group:
Yellowstone Landscape Group, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a national landscape leader dedicated to serving the growing demands of the commercial, municipal, institutional, resort, multi-family and estate markets by offering a comprehensive service solution of green and sustainable practices with an emphasis on protecting, enhancing and increasing property values in a variety of geographic locations. Yellowstone currently serves customers in Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida with expansion plans already in place to increase its geographic footprint. By delivering best-in class horticultural and business practices, a highly skilled workforce, value-added pricing strategy and the scales of scope and efficiency, the Yellowstone Landscape Group provides its customers with a premium comprehensive service offering. Visit www.yellowstonelanscape.com for more information.
About Gridiron Capital:
Gridiron Capital, LLC, headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a private equity firm focused on creating value by acquiring and building middle-market manufacturing, service and specialty consumer companies in the United States and Canada. The firm’s principals have historically achieved superior investment returns by employing a combination of strategic, operating and financial experience to provide portfolio companies with competitive advantages. Gridiron’s principals work closely with management teams to develop strategies for portfolio companies, as well as providing resources to execute business plans and build industry-leading companies. Additional information about Gridiron is available on the firm’s website at www.gridironcapital.com .