Brickman, ValleyCrest agree to merge

May 21, 2014 -  By
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logo: Brickman and ValleyCrest

The Brickman Group, based in Rockville, Md., and Calabasas, Calif.-based ValleyCrest Cos. agreed to merge. Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which creates a nearly $2 billion landscape and snow services company. Combined, Brickman and ValleyCrest will have more than 20,000 employees.

The merger is expected to close by mid-2014. Following the close, current Brickman owner KKR will have majority ownership of the combined company. ValleyCrest’s current owner MSD Capital will retain a significant minority ownership interest.

Brickman CEO Andrew Kerin will lead the joint entity. ValleyCrest CEO Roger Zino will become vice chairman. The company will maintain both headquarters locations and include all ValleyCrest’s divisions and subsidiaries, including its tree company and franchisor U.S. Lawns.

Richard Sperber, ValleyCrest chairman of the board and son of company founder Burton Sperber, will depart the firm but retain significant equity stake in the combined companies. The Sperber family also retains its proportionate stake in the combined entity.

Both brands remain intact through the transaction’s close date. At that point the companies’ marketing teams and leaders will determine the long-term brand strategy, said ValleyCrest Vice President of Marketing Caroline Weilert.

“We are excited to bring together two family-founded industry pioneers to continue shaping the industry while caring for client relationships that have been built over decades,” said Kerin. “We share common values and have each achieved local, regional and nationwide success by putting our people and clients at the center of all that we do.”

Zino added the companies have known and respected each other for many years.

“This is an ideal match that will advance the landscape profession by bringing together a passionate community of the best trained and knowledgeable landscape professionals in the country,” he said.

Rumors of the merger sprung up a month ago when The Financial Times reported KKR could buy ValleyCrest. KKR entered the landscape market when it purchased Brickman in November for $1.6 billion.

Stay tuned to LandscapeManagement.net and the LM social media accounts for updates on this breaking story. Don’t miss our earlier report on this topic, “What a merger could mean.”

Updated: 5/22/14

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