Landscape Industry Mergers, Acquisitions, & Partnerships


Lately, several landscape industry players have made moves to work together through mergers or acquisitions. Just some that have crossed the Turf desk are listed below.

Ohio Market: Schill Acquires Ward + Thornton, Fredericks Landscaping

Schill Grounds Management is expanding into the Cincinnati market with acquisitions of two full-service landscaping companies: Ward + Thornton Landscapes, based in Maineville, OH; and Fredericks Landscaping, based in Cincinnati.

Founded over 50 years ago, Ward + Thornton provides full-service landscape, maintenance, snow management, and design-build services to numerous customers in northeast Cincinnati and beyond, including Fortune 500 companies as well as local businesses of all sizes. Fredericks Landscaping has been providing full-service landscaping and snow management to customers in central Cincinnati and northern Kentucky for more than 40 years.

The southeastern Ohio acquisitions expand Schill’s presence beyond its primary markets of Cleveland and Columbus, and represent the third and fourth acquisitions Schill has completed in recent months. Schill will operate out of the existing Ward + Thornton and Fredericks facilities, while approximately 200 employees from the companies will join the Schill family. Mike Ward, the former owner of Ward + Thornton, will oversee the consolidated operations in the region in a new role as Schill’s Market President for Cincinnati.acquisition

“We are delighted to show our new employees and customers in Cincinnati what makes Schill a best-in-class partner for year-round grounds management services,” said President Jerry Schill, pictured right, who co-founded North Ridgeville, OH-based Schill Grounds Management more than 25 years ago.

Schill continues to actively seek additional opportunities with landscaping and snow and ice removal providers of all sizes in the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest regions.

Robotics Growth: Robin Autopilot Acquires Mowbot

Robin Autopilot USA, a leader in robotic mowing technology, has acquired Mowbot, a robotic lawn care franchise business with 16 locations throughout the U.S. As part of the acquisition, Robin Autopilot will launch a newly expanded partnership with Husqvarna Group, a major investor in Mowbot and a current equity partner of Robin

Following the transaction, Mowbot will become known as “Mowbot Powered by Robin” and will move its headquarters from Durham, NC to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex where Robin is looking to expand its US headquarters. The acquisition continues Robin’s expansion in robotics as a service for the U.S. lawn care industry. In December 2020, Robin entered a similar arrangement with Weed Man USA.

“Husqvarna is a pioneer in the robotic mowing industry, and we are pleased to partner with them even more directly as we work together to change how North America mows,” said Logan Fahey, CEO of Robin Holdings. “Adding Mowbot’s experienced operators to the Robin platform will further our goal to expand our presence as a leader in disruptive RaaS technology for the lawn care industry. Robin’s innovative platform coupled with Husqvarna’s global leadership in robotics will provide leading-edge RaaS solutions for landscapers and industry professionals throughout the sector.”

“We believe robotic technology will play a rapidly growing role in the future of lawn care,” said Robert McCutcheon, President of Husqvarna NA. “We consider this an outstanding opportunity to partner with Robin, the leader in the RaaS market for the U.S., to expand our presence in this expanding market.”

Northeast Market: Piscataqua Landscaping Acquires Community Landscape Company

acquisitionsPiscataqua Landscaping & Tree Service has acquired Community Landscape Company based in Wolfeboro, NH. The move marks the second such acquisition and expansion in three months, following the purchase of Jacquelyn Noobney Landscape, Inc. in January. With this acquisition, comes a large territory expansion into New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Piscataqua is already the largest landscaping company in the Maine and New Hampshire’s Seacoast region, with a service area stretching from Northern Massachusetts to Kennebunkport, ME.

As part of the deal, Community Landscaping’s 12 employees will be joining Piscataqua’s 100+ staff across Maine and New Hampshire. Phil Borelli, former owner of Community, commented, “Piscataqua… believes in all the same things that I do: long-term relationships, depth of resources and support for their employees, quality service, and care for their customers.”

Piscataqua President & CEO Justin Gamester, said, “We have worked closely with Phil around the Lake for a few years and saw this as a great opportunity to provide more resources for the team members, and a wider scope of services for the clients around the Lake. We’re looking forward to providing the same high-quality landscaping services.”

SA5 Soil Testing: Real Green Systems Partners With Waypoint Analytical

Real Green Systems, a provider of business operations software and marketing solutions for the lawn care and landscaping management industries, has announced a new partnership with Waypoint Analytical to provide precision soil testing and analytics integration to its Service Assistant 5 (SA5).

Real Green Systems CEO Bill Nunan said, “We are always looking to partner with innovative companies whose products enable our customers to provide value-added services. That’s why we are thrilled to be partnering with Waypoint. With new EPA ‘Healthy Soil’ regulations coming in 2021 that will likely require much more testing for lawn care providers, this will prove to be an invaluable asset for lawn care and landscaping businesses.”

SA5 users will be able to mail soil test samples taken from customer properties to one of seven Waypoint Analytical facilities across the country. Once Waypoint tests and analyzes the sample, the results will be automatically uploaded to SA5. In addition to opening up a potentially lucrative new revenue stream, providing soil testing enables lawn care and landscaping businesses to show customers that they are good stewards of the environment, promoting healthy soil by testing before recommending a custom, personalized lawn care health plan.

Waypoint Analytical joins a growing list of Real Green Systems partners, including Lawnbot, Captivated texting solutions, Linxup GPS technology, American Profit Recovery, and more.

Construction Equipment: Deere & engcon Tiltrotatorsacquisitions

John Deere announced a preferred supplier agreement with engcon, a manufacturer of tiltrotators. Tiltrotator models ranging from the EC204 up to the EC233 will be available through John Deere and Hitachi excavator dealers starting in the second half of 2021. These tiltrotator models match with the John Deere 26G through 345G and Hitachi ZX26 through ZX345 Excavator models.

When equipped, a tiltrotator enables an excavator bucket or other attachments to rotate 360˚ around the axis and tilt up to 45˚ side to side. A tiltrotator-equipped excavator is especially useful for those working in tight, challenging job sites or tackling applications that require precision and versatility, such as landscaping.