After Tripling Revenues, CI Sells SavATree to Apax
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After Tripling Revenues, CI Sells SavATree to Apax

During an active four-year ownership, CI Capital closed 27 add-on acquisitions for SavATree

SavATree’s horticultural services include tree and shrub pruning, insect and disease management, and lawn care

SOURCE: Getty Images

Apax has agreed to acquire SavATree, a provider of tree, shrub and lawn care services, from CI Capital Partners.

SavATree provides its horticultural services – including tree and shrub pruning, insect and disease management, deer deterrence, lawn care, and tree and shrub nutrient/fertilization programs – to residential, commercial and government customers.

CI Capital acquired SavATree in June 2017, in partnership with the company’s management team including then CEO Daniel van Starrenburg, and during its ownership term the company’s revenue tripled through a combination of organic growth and 27 add-on acquisitions. The company’s most recent add-on was the buy of Texas-based tree and lawn care company, Preservation Tree Services, in July 2021. From 2017 to 2021, the company’s geographic footprint grew from 28 branches in 12 states to 58 branches in 27 states.

SavATree was founded by Ralph Robbins in 1978 to save trees from the effects of repeated defoliations by the Gypsy Moth Caterpillar. Today, the company is headquartered 40 miles north of New York City in Bedford Hills, New York and is led by Mr. van Starrenburg as executive chairman, and CEO Carmine Schiavone.

“We are proud to have backed Daniel, Carmine and their team in building a national business and are thrilled to have supported the company during a time of tremendous growth,” said Joost Thesseling, the managing director of CI Capital. “Throughout its 40+ year history, SavATree has earned a reputation for best-in-class customer service and a focus on environmental sustainability relied upon by consumers, businesses and governments. We are appreciative of the partnership we built with the SavATree team and look forward to watching the company continue to thrive.”

“In partnership with CI Capital, we have realized significant growth and built SavATree into a company that our customers depend upon to care for what they love,” said Mr. van Starrenburg. “I am extremely grateful for the support of the CI Capital team as we worked to double our footprint, triple our revenue and invest in our team to solidify our position as a true industry leader. We look forward to working with the Apax team as our journey continues.”

“SavATree is a true leader in the arboriculture space and over its forty-year history has built an enviable brand and position in the industry,” said Ashish Karandikar, a partner at Apax. “This is a market that we know well, and SavATree was prioritized given our sub-sector specialization in route-based services and residential services with prior investments in Authority Brands, Garda, Safety Kleen, and ADCO. We are proud to partner with the SavATree team and look forward to combining SavATree’s strong heritage and reputation for excellence with Apax’s deep operational and digital expertise to drive the business forward.”

Apax invests in the technology, services, healthcare, and consumer sectors with offices in London, New York, Munich, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

New York City-headquartered CI Capital Partners invests from $10 million to $150 million in middle-market companies operating in the business services, consumer services, distribution and logistics, and healthcare services sectors. Since its founding in 1993, CI Capital and its portfolio companies have acquired 35 platforms and closed 360 add-on acquisitions.

Harris Williams was the financial advisor to SavATree, and Deutsche Bank and Baird were the financial advisors to Apax.

The buy of SavATree is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | September 1, 2021

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