John Deere Landscapes Acquired

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) announced an agreement under which CD&R will acquire John Deere Landscapes (JDL), a unit of Deere & Company's (NYSE:DE) Agriculture & Turf segment. The transaction will create a new, freestanding enterprise jointly owned by CD&R and Deere. Deere will initially retain a 40 percent ownership stake in the new standalone company.

“CD&R's focus on growth and deep experience with businesses like ours make them an ideal partner," said David Werning, president of John Deere Landscapes. "Deere's ongoing equity ownership reflects its interest in remaining part of a successful landscapes distribution business."

With more than 400 branches in the U.S., JDL is the largest North American distributor of landscaping products sold primarily to professional landscape contractors for use in residential and commercial settings, with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

In a letter to its customers, Werning said, “As a free-standing company with continued strong backing of Deere, you can expect the same high levels of service you have come to expect from John Deere Landscapes. You will see the same John Deere Landscapes employees behind the counter and delivering product to you. You will see the same quality products from our supplier partners. You will see the same pricing and terms. If you are participating in our Partner Program, you will continue to enjoy the benefits that come from being a member. Our leadership team will remain in place. So it is, essentially, business as usual.”

CD&R has investments in ServiceMaster, which own TruGreen, as well as HD Supply, Roofing Supply Group, among others.

Paul Pressler, a CD&R operating partner, will assume the role of chairman upon the close of the transaction, expected in December. The carve-out transaction is valued at approximately $465 million.