Sterling Sees Green in GRC’s HeartLand

Sterling Investment Partners has acquired the HeartLand Company, a Midwest-based commercial landscaper, from Great Range Capital. Great Range formed HeartLand in April 2016 in partnership with industry executive Edward Schatz to begin a consolidation of the commercial landscaping industry.

HeartLand is a provider of commercial landscape and facilities services to more than 3,000 properties. The company’s services include grounds maintenance, landscape enhancements and winter services including snow removal.

HeartLand operates through five operating companies: Kansas City-based Signature Landscape (acquired in April 2016); Denver-based Keesen Landscape (acquired in November 2016); Columbia, MO-based Columbia Landscape (acquired in August 2018); Lexington, KY-based Hillenmeyer Landscape (acquired in April 2019); and Pittsburg-based JML Landscape (acquired in July 2019). Heartland is led by CEO Edward Schatz and is headquartered in Mission Woods, KS.

During the term of Great Range’s ownership of HeartLand, the company complete nine acquisitions. “It has been a rewarding experience to help launch the HeartLand platform. Partnering with the leadership teams, owners and employees of the nine completed acquisitions has been an honor. We’re proud that HeartLand has become a prominent player in the commercial landscape industry and are confident in their continued success,” said Mark Robinson, a principal at Great Range.

“We conducted an intensive and focused search to secure a new financial partner who will support our continued growth and that process led us to the ultimate selection of Sterling Investment Partners,” said Mr. Schatz. “While they possess the depth of financial resources we needed, they also bring an understanding of and enthusiasm for this business.  Their proven track record and management partnership philosophy has resulted in the growth and development of multiple firms over the years and we are confident they will help HeartLand achieve that same level of success.”

“We are very excited to partner with HeartLand’s entrepreneurial team, who have a compelling history of success in the space,” said Charles Santoro, managing partner and co-founder of Sterling. “We look forward to working with the company to expand its geographic reach, as the team continues to build a world-class platform.”

Sterling Investment Partners invests in companies with revenues of $100 million to $500 million and EBITDAs of $15 million to $40 million. Sectors of interest include business services, specialty manufacturing, value-added distribution, consumer, and transportation and logistics. Sterling was founded in 1991 and is based in Westport, CT.

Great Range invests in Midwest-based companies that have revenues of more than $10 million and EBITDA of more than $3 million. Sectors of interest include niche manufacturing, business and industrial services, consumer and retail, and healthcare services. The firm was founded in 2010 by Ryan Sprott and Paul Maxwell and is headquartered near Kansas City in Mission Woods, KS.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | September 5, 2019

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