Trinity Private Equity Group (TPEG) of Southlake, Texas, has completed a private equity recapitalization of Gold Landscape of Denton County, Texas

Gold Landscape provides maintenance, irrigation, design, and installation throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, primarily for multifamily developments and large-scale homeowners associations. TPEG partnered with the management team to lead a recapitalization of the company and to support expansion throughout Texas.

Plexus CapitalPlexus Capital provided mezzanine financing in connection with the transaction.  This is the second landscape services deal for Plexus which participated in the recapitalization of Rotolo Consultants, Inc. of Slidell, Louisiana in 2015.

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Park City—A Park City couple is the new owner of Park City Nursery. Sophy and Grady Kohler purchased the nursery from Steve and Ann Barrett. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The nursery was started by Steve Barrett in 1983.
Park City Nursery
“We do not sell anything that is sold at a big-box store,” said Sophy Kohler. “We are trying to increase the allure for people that want to check out the history of Park City. We want people to know this was the location of the original Snyder Homestead.”

The Kohlers, who are full-time residents of Park City’s Old Ranch Road community, will continue the nursery’s 35-year legacy of selling trees, shrubs and flowers that thrive at high-altitude settings. Park City has an elevation of 7,000 feet, which presents unique challenges for gardeners.

The nursery carries a variety of trees, herbs, vegetables, flower container displays, ground covers, shrubs, wildflower seeds, specialty gardening tools and other supplies. A separate bulk yard location offers rocks, boulders, gravel, mulches, topsoil, and compost.

Trees are handpicked and purchased from private farms in Idaho, Wyoming, and Oregon. According to the International Society of Arboriculture, each front yard tree adds 1 percent to a homeowner’s sale price, while large specimen trees can add as much as 10 percent to property values.

The Kohlers plan to expand the nursery’s retail presence with gifts and boutique garden line supplies. The nursery sits on six acres of property and includes the original Samuel Snyder home and general store, built in the 1880s. The Kohlers plan to restore the home and store and open them to customers. Snyder, a native New Yorker and Mormon pioneer was one of Park City’s original homesteaders. The Snyderville Basin was named after him.

A big part of the nursery’s attraction are 15 employees who are specialists in landscaping, plants and design. “Some of our employees have been here for more than 15 years,” Sophy Kohler said. “They know so much. People can walk in with a leaf or twig and say, ‘Hey, what is this?’ Or, they might ask, ‘There is this black mark on my tree, what’s causing this?’ Our team can answer their questions.”

Sophy is a former executive of a Fortune 500 company and was born and raised in New York. Grady, a Utah native, is owner and principal broker of Windermere Utah Real Estate, a leading residential and commercial real estate company with offices in Park City and five other locations in Utah. Both are skiers, mountain bikers, and members of the Park City Sailing Club.

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ABM has announced that it will July 11 buy GCA Services Group from Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division.  GCA, based in Cleveland, provides facility services in the education and commercial sectors, providing facilities maintenance, janitorial services, grounds management, vehicle services and outsourced workforce solutions. The deal is expected to close by September.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ABM (NYSE:ABM) (“the Company”), a leading provider of facility solutions, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GCA Services Group (“GCA”) from affiliates of Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division for approximately $1.25 billion in cash and stock.

GCA is a leading provider of facility services in the education and commercial industries, specializing in facilities maintenance, janitorial services, grounds management, vehicle services and outsourced workforce solutions. With over 37,000 employees in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, GCA is headquartered in Cleveland, OH.
Scott Salmirs, President and Chief Executive Officer of ABM Industries, commented, “This transformative and accretive acquisition will accelerate our 2020 Vision by creating a broader platform upon which we can grow profitably and further distinguish ABM as an industry-focused solutions provider. We look forward to gaining insights from GCA, a well-established industry leader with top talent. GCA’s client-centric goals and philosophies align closely with those of ABM, and we are excited about the value this combination will bring to our clients, our employees and our shareholders.”
Bob Norton, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of GCA, commented, “We are excited to be joining the ABM family, which will allow us to better serve our clients with more services and greater reach. We believe our combination with a company that shares our vision for profitable growth will lead to significant long-term value for all stakeholders.”
Strategic Rationale
The acquisition aligns with the core principles of ABM’s 2020 Vision strategy of achieving long-term profitable growth:
• Industry-Focused Approach: The Company and GCA have complementary organizational structures by industry group and the combination will enhance ABM’s presence in the Education market and Commercial industry. The combined expertise in these areas will reinforce ABM’s 2020 Vision evolution from a facility solutions provider managed by service line to an industry-focused organization.
• Profitable Growth: GCA has a demonstrated track record of longstanding revenue growth and profitability driven by its industry-focused operational strategies. The acquisition is expected to increase the overall margin profile of ABM and to solidify the Company’s 2020 Vision-driven, client-centric structure and strategy for long-term profitable growth.
• The ABM Way: The transaction will provide a broader platform for ABM to implement its standard operating practices, which, when combined with the best-in-class operations of GCA, will enhance the Company’s capabilities for its clients, and accelerate cross-selling of its Technical Solutions and specialty engineering services.
• Valuable Synergies: The acquisition is expected to produce cost synergies in overhead and procurement, while also enabling greater efficiencies in areas such as shared services and IT.
Financial Highlights
The acquisition of GCA is expected to accelerate ABM’s ability to enhance long-term shareholder value. While ABM intends to provide greater detail surrounding the long-term financial impact of the transaction after the acquisition closes, ABM expects:
• Revenue contribution of approximately $1.1 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $100 million, respectively, after the first full year of ownership.
• Revenue increase of approximately $600 million within the Education industry group, with the remaining $500 million to be allocated to other key industry groups during the integration process.
• Annualized, run rate cost synergies of approximately $20 million to $30 million, which are expected to be realized by the second full year of ownership.
• Total debt, including standby letters of credit, of approximately $1.5 billion, and total debt to proforma lender-adjusted EBITDA of approximately 4.0x, as calculated under the Company’s amended credit agreement, which is not expected to impact ABM’s current dividend payment policy.
Transaction Details
Under the terms of the agreement, ABM will acquire GCA for $851 million in cash and $399 million in shares of ABM common stock subject to customary adjustments for working capital and net debt.
The transaction is expected to close by September 2017, subject to customary closing conditions including required regulatory approvals. ABM expects to incur approximately $70 million in one-time, transaction-, synergy-, and integration-related costs.
Following the closing of the transaction, affiliates of Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division will own, in the aggregate, approximately 14% of ABM’s outstanding shares and will enter into a shareholders agreement with the Company providing for, among other things, customary standstill and voting obligations, transfer restrictions and registration rights.
Josh Bresler, Managing Director of Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., stated, “We would like to thank Bob Norton, the entire GCA management team and the over 37,000 GCA employees for a tremendous partnership. GCA is an incredible company with a proven track record of operating performance, safety and specialty market expertise. We are excited about the growth prospects of GCA as an important part of ABM, and look forward to benefiting from the combined company’s future upside.”
Chris Crampton, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, said, “The combined company will create a market leader in facilities services, and will enable management to offer its customers additional locations, services, expertise and resources.” Mr. Crampton continued, “We look forward to supporting Scott and the ABM management team as they continue to successfully execute on their 2020 Vision.”
Financing
ABM plans to fund the cash portion of the purchase price and transaction expenses via its amended revolving credit facility, in addition to a five-year amortizing term loan. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and BofA Merrill Lynch have committed to provide the financing for the transaction.

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Recent Transactions

SCG Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm, announced that it has acquired an additional landscape business in Florida to add to the three it acquired in the Melbourne, Florida area last year.  SCG did not disclose the name if its new acquisitions.

In Franklin, Tennessee, Pure Green has acquired Turf Team.

In Northern Nevada, Celtic lawn and Landscape has merged with Signature Landscapes.

Marquette Capital Partners announced that it has participated in a recapitalization of Girard Environmental , based in the Orlando area.  Marquette is a mezzanine investor.

The post February 2016 appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

How Age Sharpens Your Exit Plan

Over the past couple of years, I have heard several presentations on understanding the buying  habits of consumers by studying I am sure you have too.  It turns out these generational cohorts  also have different views toward exit plans too.

Your age has a big impact on your attitude toward your business, and your feelings about one day getting out of it.

For example, one person who runs a boutique mergers and acquisitions business refuses to take assignments from business owners over the age of 70.

He has found that septuagenarians are so personally invested that they can rarely bring themselves to sell their business – frequently calling off the sale halfway through, claiming they just wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if it closed.

While it’s always dangerous to generalize – especially based on something as touchy as age – a few patterns emerged in the research  conducted by John Warrillow for his book,  Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You.

Owners aged 25 to 46

Twenty- and thirty-something business owners grew up in an age when job security did not exist. They watched as their parents got downsized or packaged off into early retirement, and that resulted in a somewhat jaded attitude towards the role of a business in society.

Business owners in their twenties and thirties generally see their companies as a means to an end, and most expect to sell in the next 5 to 10 years.

Similar to their employed classmates, who move to a new job every 3 to 5 years, business owners in this age group often expect to start a few companies in their lifetime.

Owners aged 47 to 65

Baby boomers came of age in a time when the social contract between a company and an employee was sacrosanct. An employee agreed to be loyal to the company, and, in return, the company agreed to provide a decent living and a pension for a few golden years.

Many of the business owners in this generation think of their company as more than a profit center. They see their business as part of a community and, by extension, themselves as community leaders.

To many boomers, the idea of selling their company feels like selling out their employees and their community. That’s why so many chief executive officers in their fifties and sixties are torn: they know they need to sell to fund their retirement, but they agonize over where that will leave their loyal employees.

Owners aged sixty-five plus

Older business owners grew up in a time when hobbies were impractical and discouraged. You went to work while your wife tended to the kids (today, more than half of businesses are started by women, but those were different times), you ate dinner, you watched the news and you went to bed.

With few hobbies and little other than work to define them, business owners in their late sixties, seventies and eighties feel lost without their business – that’s why so many refuse to sell or experience depression after they do.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to general rules of thumb, but frequently – more than your industry, nationality, marital status or educational background – your birth certificate defines your exit plan.

Recent Transactions

 

Preservation Tree has acquired Greenleaf Professional Tree Service in Fort Worth, Texas.

The post January 2016 appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

Grundstrom Landscape Maintenance, Inc.of Mundelein, Illinois, has been sold to a private investor.

Grundstrom is a commercial landscaping business that has been in operation since 1948. Grundstrom serves western, northwestern and northern Chicago suburbs. Grundstrom has long-standing relationships with many of its clients, some of which have been clients for over 30 years. The Business is known for its reliable staff and exceptional service.

The Business was acquired by a private investor who was looking to acquire an asset in the landscaping industry.

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Have you ever wondered what determines the value of your business?

Perhaps you’ve heard an industry rule of thumb and assumed that your company will be worth about the same as a similar size company in your industry. However, when we take a look at the data provided by The Value Builder System™, we’ve found there are eight factors that drive the value of your business, and they are all potentially more important than the industry you’re in.

Not convinced? Let’s look at Jill Nelson, who recently sold a majority interest in her $11 million telephone answering service, Ruby Receptionists, for $38.8 million.

That’s a lot of money for answering the phone on behalf of independent lawyers, contractors and plumbers across America.

To give you a sense of how high that valuation is, let’s look at some comparison data. At Value Builder, we’ve worked with more than 30,000 businesses in the last five years. Our clients start by completing their Value Builder questionnaire, which covers 35 questions that allow us to place an estimate of value on a company. The average value for companies starting with Value Builder is 3.6 times pre-tax profit and those who graduate with a Value Builder Score of 80+ (out of a possible 100) are getting an average of 6.3 times pre-tax profit.

When we isolate the administrative support industry that Ruby Receptionists operates in, the average multiple offered for these companies over the last five years is just 1.8 times pre-tax profit.

Nelson, by contrast, sold the majority interest in Ruby Receptionists for more than 3 times revenue.

There were three factors that made Nelson’s business much more valuable than her industry peers, and they are the same things you can focus on to drive up the value of your company:

  1. Cultivate Your Point Of Differentiation

Acquirers do not buy what they could easily build themselves. If your main competitive advantage is price, an acquirer will rightly conclude they can simply set up shop as a competitor and win most of your price sensitive customers away by offering a temporary discount.

In the case of Ruby Receptionists, Nelson invested heavily in a technology that ensured that no matter when a client received a phone call, her technology would route that call to an available receptionist. Nelson’s competitors were mostly low-tech mom and pop businesses who often missed calls when there was a sudden surge of callers. Nelson’s technology could handle client surges because of the unique routing technology she had built that transferred calls efficiently across her network of receptionists.

Nelson’s acquirer, a private equity company called Updata Partners, saw the potential of applying Nelson’s call-routing technology to other businesses they owned and were considering investing in.

  1. Recurring Revenue

Acquirers want to know how your business will perform after they buy it. Nothing gives them more confidence that your business will continue to thrive post sale than recurring revenue from subscriptions or service contracts.

In Nelson’s case, Ruby Receptionists billed its customers through recurring contracts—perfect for making a buyer confident that her company has staying power.

  1. Customer Diversification

In addition to having customers pay on recurring contracts, the most valuable businesses have lots of little customers rather than one or two biggies. Most acquirers will balk if any one of your customers represents more than 15% of your revenue.

At the time of the acquisition, Ruby Receptionists had 6,000 customers paying an average of just a few hundred dollars per month. Nelson could lose a client or two each month without skipping a beat, which is ideal for reassuring a hesitant buyer that your company’s revenue stream is bulletproof.

Nelson built a valuable company in a relatively unexciting, low-tech industry, proving that how you run your business is more important than the industry you’re in.

The post 3 Ways To Make Your Company More Valuable Than Your Industry Peers appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

In our experience, there is a great deal of confusing information about business valuation.  Most business owners have heard about the values that some other business owners may have received for their business.  Drawing conclusion from rumors, casual and incomplete information can be very dangerous.

Recent studies indicate that nearly 80% of business owners are relying on the value of their business to fund retirement.  Those same studies indicate that fewer than 30% have a plan to make that happen – or have any idea what their business is really worth.

When a business buyer looks at business valuation, regardless of the specific methodology they may choose to use, their process involves assessing the likely future cash flows of the business and the likelihood of them actually being realized in the future..  Business owners often ask us if a business buyer will focus almost completely on the current year or will “average” their analysis over a certain timeframe such as three years.  The reality is that a business buyer is not interested in the current year or the past three years.  The most important year to them is NEXT year and the year after that.  The past is only important in helping predict the future.  As a side note, the answer is that a buyer will be more interested in the most recent data.  If data over a longer period of time reflects a negative trend, that will temper their view of the current data.  Said another way, they are likely to essentially take the lesser of the current data or the recent three-year data.

In order to discuss business valuation, we have to first discuss transaction structures.  Different transaction structures are likely to impact business valuations.  Although there are a wide range of variations, most transactions are asset purchase transactions, structured on a cash-free, debt-free basis.  That means that at closing, the seller retains all cash in the business and pays off all debt (equipment financing, term debt, line of credit) with the business sale proceeds.  The buyer receives all the operating assets of the business, including non-cash working capital.  The buyer receives both accounts receivable and accounts payable.

The asset purchase agreement will lay out a target amount of working capital, or at least a formula to determine it.  If the actual working capital (mostly accounts receivable minus accounts payable) is greater than the target working capital, there is an adjustment to increase the purchase price.  If the actual working capital is less than the target working capital, there is an adjustment down in the purchase price.  There are many different ways in practice to determine target working capital.  This is a particularly important issue to seasonal businesses like most landscaping businesses.  It is important to consider this issue when evaluating a purchase offer since two different possible buyers may treat it very differently.  It is unwise to evaluate or enter into a letter of intent that does not address the details of the target working capital.  This is not a detail to defer evaluating until later in the process.

Two other transaction terms require some discussion as to their impact in valuation.  The first is seller financing.  In general, the more seller financing that is provided, the higher the purchase price should be.  Sellers usually say they would prefer little or no seller financing.  That may or may not make sense as the potential sales price may increase in lockstep with the amount of seller financing provided.  Said a bit more directly, the seller financing might be gravy you can’t get any other way.  As a practical matter, many business sales agreements provide for between 20% and 30% or more in seller financing.

The other transaction terms that bear addressing at this point are “earn-outs” and “claw-backs”.  These are purchase price adjustments that kick in if certain things happen post-closing.  An earn-out is an additional amount of purchase price that is to be paid if the business achieves certain agreed goals after closing.  A claw-back is a downward adjustment in the purchase price that happens if certain agreed events occur after closing.  Claw-backs are often limited to the amount of seller financing, but this is not always the case.

Earn-outs and claw-backs are often used to address differences of opinion about business valuation.   In a sense, the seller is guaranteeing the performance of the business after closing.   Both give the possibility that a business seller will realize more from the business than they would have received otherwise.  Obviously, there is risk in using these approaches and careful crafting and monitoring is required.

One often hears of “rules of thumb” for business valuation for various types of businesses.  Sometimes, these are based on a multiple of revenue.  Other times they are based on a multiple of EBITDA or free cash flow.  Free cash flow is usually defined as EBITDA minus capital expenditures plus or minus change in working capital.  There are also sometimes rules of thumb based on a multiple of revenues.  Except in a few very specific circumstances, those rules of thumb based on revenues are not very helpful.

While a multiple of EBITDA is a commonly used metric, free cash flow is often used and makes a great deal of sense.   When using EBITDA as a multiple in valuation analysis, higher capital expenditures or higher working capital requirements are factors that will move the valuation to the lower end of the valuation range.

Ultimately, valuation will be impacted by many factors that come in to play in a buyer’s evaluation of the future cash flows expected from the business.

For most businesses, there is a range of likely valuations.  In addition to the transaction terms discussion above, there are a variety of factors that will determine where a specific business will be valued on the range of potential values.  The following table identifies characteristics which may tend to raise or lower a particular business’s valuation.

 

Impact on Valuation Range
Target Characteristics Lower Higher
Profitability & Growth Prospects Uncertain Strong
Recurring revenue Lower percentage Higher percentage
Management team strength Weak Strong
Size of the business Smaller Larger
Location Less desirable market, rural Desirable market, urban/suburban
Competitive Environment High Low
Capex Requirements High Low
Working capital requirements High Low
Owner-centricity High Low
Workforce quality & access to labor Low High
Customer concentrations High Low
Customer characteristics Less Positive Positive
Compliance (immigration, environmental, safety, etc.) Poor compliance Strong Compliance
Financial Records Strong accounting and systems Strong accounting & systems

 

 

We have reviewed all of that information to temper what we have gathered from our study of valuation trends.  Valuation is not a precise process and will always be impacted by the perspectives and circumstances of a buyer.   Business sellers are often surprised by the valuations placed on their businesses by potential buyers.  In most cases, the answers to why valuations fall short of expectations can be found in this table.

 

Study Process

 

There are several databases of business sale transaction data maintained by various groups.  For this study, we have used two databases, Pratt’s Stat’s, owned and maintained by Business Valuation Resources, and PeerComps, owned and maintained by GCF Valuation.

Pratt’s Stats is a robust online database, that reports that it has extensive financial details on 26,000+ acquired private companies, with up to 149 data points for each transaction. Each transaction includes detailed data necessary in applying the market approach to business valuation, deriving a selling price, benchmarking performance, or performing a fairness opinion analysis.

Pratt’s Stats generally obtains transactions for the database from business brokers and M&A advisors. Before a transaction is included in Pratt’s Stats, each transaction is carefully reviewed by Business Valuations Resources personnel who maintain the database.

Since 1988, PeerComps has gathered data on over 7,0000 transactions from SBA lenders.  PeerComps obtains the data in its database from participating financial institutions which provide SBA financing in connection with merger & acquisition transactions.

Both of these databases are searchable by subscribers and provide various analysis tools.

Transaction data in these databases can be hard to evaluate for several reasons. The reporting of sale transactions is limited to voluntary reporting by transaction participants.  Many buyers prefer not to call attention to their acquisitions and certainly are hesitant to permit disclosure of transaction details.  As a result, the data is far less complete and accurate than real estate comps.

 

The data is organized by SIC code or NAICS code.  Unfortunately, the applicable codes for landscaping services are very broad.  They include both landscape maintenance and construction as well as lawn care (fertilization and weed control) and all for both residential and commercial businesses.  The limited information provided along with the data makes it very difficult to narrow the selection of comparable transactions.  As a result, an inherent weakness of this study is that it includes a wide range of businesses – residential, commercial, lawn care, landscape maintenance, irrigation, etc.  Our results will take that fact into consideration.  You will not be able to value your business based on the information we can provide here.

Because Pratt’s Stats is the larger and better known database, we used it for primary research for our study.  We reviewed information in PeerComps to confirm the conclusions that we reached.

Our basic process for the study was as follows:

  1. We researched the databases and found 357 transactions reported during the 10-year period 2007-2016 in Pratt’s Stats and 86 transactions in PeerComps for landscape services.
  2. We divided the data by transaction year.
  3. We calculated the revenue multiple and EBITDA multiple for each transaction so identified.
  4. For each year, we reviewed the underlying data and eliminated obvious outliers, typically caused by very low EBITDA. An EBITDA multiple is not considered meaningful in such circumstances.
  5. We then calculated the median revenue multiple and the median EBITDA multiple for each year.

The data for each of the databases is graphically illustrated in the following charts:

 

 

 

 

 

Landscaping Business Sale Transactions

Reported Through Pratt’s Stat’s 2007-2016

 

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number 9 23 34 55 31 39 37 43 54 32
Median Revenue 699,928 156,045 162,007 200,000 198,731 245,232 133,625 264,161 305,115 274,967
Median EBITDA 114,404 64,500 58,685 41,291 51,047 61,154 45,000 68,613 61,660 53,905
Median Sales Price 130,550 129,000 97,500 99,000 47,629 125,000 76,000 145,000 156,250 136,250
Median Sales Multiple 0.82 0.56 0.69 0.54 0.61 0.53 0.64 0.6 0.64 0.55
Median EBITDA Multiple 3.39 1.56 1.57 2.00 2.23 2.22 1.48 2.27 3.14 2.97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landscaping Business Sale Transactions

Reported Through PeerComps 2007-2016

 

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number 6 7 3 5 2 12 8 15 13 15
Median Revenue 1,371,500 1,370000 581,000 852,000 518,000 767,878 834,654 864,279 1,045,850 900,993
Median EBITDA 240,000 204,000 177,000 225,000 103,500 152,500 201,348 172,460 164,023 188,367
Median Sales Price 925,000 800,000 542,000 750,000 315,000 566,000 660,000 615,000 460,000 599,000
Median Sales Multiple 0.74 0.68 0.93 0.79 0.61 0.74 0.57 0.57 0.60 0.63
Median EBITDA Multiple 3.48 3.52 4.12 3.33 3.13 3.70 3.30 3.71 3.44 3.65

 

 

Conclusions

A review of these charts and the underlying data discloses that valuations of landscape industry businesses have operated in a relatively narrow band during the past ten years.  That supports what many of us in the industry have observed.  That is an interesting phenomenon since that ten-year period contains some years with relatively robust activity and others in which activity was limited.  It includes all of the Great Recession.

We tend to believe that the narrow differences in the valuationsares caused by several factors, including the very nature of the landscape business. Most of this period includes the Great Recession and the period immediately following it.  The harsh reality of the recession has been indelibly imprinted in the minds of many business owners and financial institutions.  Even as the industry has grown more prosperous and one might expect to see an uptick. Financial institutions and private equity investors alike have been careful not to permit valuations to get out of hand or rise precipitously.

In most cases, we expect this scenario to continue into the future for at least several more years.

How does a business owner make the best of this scenario?   If a business owner’s objective is to get the highest possible valuation on his or her business, we suggest that the owner review the table of target characteristics and impact on valuation earlier in this report.  By focusing on those characteristics, the business owner can have a dramatic impact on valuation by both “moving the multiple” and generating higher cash flow from the business.

The post Business Valuation Trends in the Landscape Industry appeared first on Principium Group: Mergers & Acquisitions.

The Dwyer Group, the franchisor of The Grounds Guys landscape maintenance franchuse in the united strates and Canada, has acquired Countrywide Grounds Maintenance in the U.K.  Countrywide has approximately 50 franch8sed locations.  Here is the text of the announcement:

Dwyer Group Acquires CountrywideThe Dwyer Group, Inc., one of the world’s largest parent companies of trade service brands, has completed the add-on acquisition of Countrywide Grounds Maintenance, a long-standing commercial groundskeeping service based in the United Kingdom. The deal marks the tenth acquisition for Dwyer Group, which recently reached $1.5 billion in system-wide sales. Dwyer Group will now have 19 brands with more than 2,850 franchisees and 700 employees across their service brands throughout North America, U.K. and Germany.

“Countrywide brings three decades of experience in grounds maintenance to our organization and is a great fit for Dwyer Group’s growing family of service brands in the United Kingdom,” said Mike Bidwell, president and CEO of Dwyer Group. “We look forward to growing that presence and providing the best professional solution for landscape maintenance and management.”

Countrywide Grounds Maintenance offers commercial grass cutting, landscape maintenance, sports grounds maintenance and winter gritting services. Established by Founder Martin Stott in 1985, he and his family have grown Countrywide Grounds Maintenance from a family-owned and operated business into a system with more than 50 franchisees.

“On behalf of the Stott family and Countrywide team, we are so proud of the amazing franchisees who have helped to build the Countrywide network,” said Co-Founder Simon Stott. “I am confident that under the guidance and leadership of Dwyer Group, the future of this organization and our family’s legacy will continue to be nothing short of extraordinary.”

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Prescription Landscape, based in Minneapolis-St. Paul has acquired Arteka Outdoor Services, a landscape services provider focusing on the HOA market.  Here is the press release announcing the acquisition:

Prescription Landscape Acquires Arteka OutdoorPrescription Landscape, Inc., (“Prescription”) Minneapolis-St. Paul’s leading commercial landscape services and snow removal provider, announced the acquisition of Arteka Outdoor Services from Arteka Companies, LLC. (“Arteka”) Arteka Outdoor Services is a specialty landscape service provider for select home owner association (HOA) and premium sites in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and the greater metropolitan markets.

Terms of the deal, which closed June 1, 2017, will not be disclosed.

“This addition to the Prescription portfolio will help us strengthen our presence in the HOA market,” said Prescription’s Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Foudray. “Like Prescription, Arteka has a long tradition of quality and integrity and they enjoy admirable customer & employee loyalty as a result. We are privileged to welcome Arteka team members and clients to our company.”

“We have worked very hard to build our reputation and we are gratified that Prescription recognizes our passion for our clients, employees and the industry,” said Arteka President & CEO, Stewart Hanson. “Our companies share many of the same values, and in a true show of commitment to client services, the Arteka Outdoor Services team members will continue on with Prescription.”

Mr. Hanson will refocus Arteka Companies on the rapidly expanding Arteka Landscape Construction Service business in existing and new markets.

For more information, contact Ryan Foudray at ryanfoudray(at)rxlandscape(dot)com or 612-369-1660.

About Prescription Landscape: Prescription Landscape is a Minnesota-owned and operated, full-service grounds maintenance and landscape management company committed to the highest standards in environmental stewardship, employee credentialing and landscape professionalism. Our team takes pride in remembering the details and delivering superior customer service.

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