BrightView CEO talks IPO, growth and how employees are benefiting

June 29, 2018 -  By
Andrew Masterman headshot

Andrew Masterman

Hours after he rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark BrightView’s initial public offering, CEO Andrew Masterman chatted with Landscape Management about this rare occasion for a landscape company—and what it means for the industry, employees and clients.

“From an industry perspective, this is a great step,” Masterman said. “Really, it provides a benchmark for the industry, whether it’s a small mom-and-pop landscaping organization all the way up to our largest competitors. It shows this industry is a real industry with high operating standards. And that’s true for investors. It’s a real business you can invest and see growth in.”

BrightView is the only publicly traded landscape company and the first one since 2013, when ServiceMaster sold TruGreen LandCare (now LandCare) to private equity firm Aurora Capital Group.

Masterman acknowledged that investors may question the impact of seasonality and weather on BrightView’s business. He said they’ll have to look at year-over-year performance, rather than comparing results to the previous quarter. Additionally, BrightView has counterbalanced seasonal and weather effects by offering snow services in winter markets and producing two-thirds of its maintenance business in the company’s “evergreen” markets, he said.

Looking ahead, Masterman expects the IPO will boost organic growth.

“Going public does nothing but raise your profile and make it more present in the marketplace,” he said. “Companies are going to be more familiar with BrightView and have more confidence in us because as a public company, we have transparency and we are operating at the highest ethical standards, and we hold that bar across every branch.”

On the acquisition side of the business, the IPO doesn’t change BrightView’s strategy of seeking out strong companies that are “best-in-class” performers to buy.

Masterman pointed to the recent acquisition of The Groundskeeper as an example of the type of company BrightView is looking for.

Employee impact

For employees, the IPO holds value in several ways, Masterman said. First, BrightView invested approximately $15 million in a new Leadership Engagement Grant program, which applies to more than 4,000 employees in the company.

The plan, announced June 28 as part of the companywide IPO event, gifts stock to all salaried, exempt employees and crew supervisors who have been with the company for 10 years or more and are not currently eligible for the company’s equity program.

At the IPO share price, the value of the grant for an average employee is in the thousands of dollars, Masterman said.

This fall, the company also plans to roll out a discounted stock purchasing program for all employees.

“We want to be an involved, employee-owned company,” he said. “(These initiatives) allow us to drive ownership at many levels, so we can all enjoy the growth of the company.”

Photo: BrightView

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Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

1 Comment on "BrightView CEO talks IPO, growth and how employees are benefiting"

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  1. This is a big deal for our industry for certain! Hopefully the market excepts BV well as values will be driven higher with BV succeeding. Nice to know the employees have an opportunity to benefit as well.