The Grounds Guys of Canada was founded by 10 brothers in 1987 as Sunshine Grounds Care and began franchising the concept in Canada and exploring other ways to expand the business. In 2010, Dwyer Group entered into an agreement with the company and the founding van Stralen family to market the franchise in the United States under a new brand name – The Grounds Guys – which was also adopted across the Canadian locations. The company is based northwest of Toronto in Mono, Ontario (www.groundsguys.ca).
“We developed and expanded The Grounds Guys across the domestic United States in record time over the last five years,” said Mr. Bidwell. “Today, the business is an industry leader, and we see great opportunities to propel it even further.”
The full acquisition of the Canadian franchisor by Dwyer includes 34 franchisees representing 40 locations across Canada. They join 194 locations across the United States under the direction of Chris Elmore, president of The Grounds Guys. The founding van Stralen family will remain consultants for the brand and stakeholders in the company as equity investors with Dwyer Group. Peter van Stralen will also become a director of Dwyer Group Canada.
Dwyer has been very active recently. Earlier this week, the company closed on the acquisition of Service Brands International, a franchisor of three residential and consumer services brands – Molly Maid, a residential cleaning service provider with 466 US franchise locations; Mr. Handyman, a provider of home repair and maintenance services through a network of 206 franchises; and ProTect Painters, a residential painting services provider with 67 franchises.
The Dwyer Group, acquired by Riverside in August 2014, is now the owner of 11 service-based franchise organizations: Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, Mr. Rooter, Mr. Handyman, Rainbow International, Five Star Painting, The Ground Guys, Molly Maid, and ProTect Painters. These brands collectively have more than 1,740 franchises in ten countries. The Dwyer Group was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Waco, TX (www.dwyergroup.com).
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on investing in and acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $300 million (€200 million in Europe). Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 380 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 70 companies. Riverside is headquartered in New York with additional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London (www.riversidecompany.com).
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 6-18-15