idverde, a French provider of landscape construction and grounds maintenance services, has acquired The Landscape Group (TLG), a leading ‘green service’ provider in the UK.
idverde was advised on the transaction by Livingstone’s Business Services sector team.
idverde was created in February 2014 following the buy-out of the French landscape construction and grounds maintenance activities of international service group ISS, backed by Paris-based investor Chequers Capital. Chequers has supported idverde’s acquisition of TLG from London-based mid-market investor Elysian Capital, consolidating the group’s position as the first green services specialist operating in several European countries.
idverde is the largest landscape construction and maintenance business in France with a turnover of EUR280m and employing 3,000 staff. The group is the undisputed market leader being five times the size of its nearest competitor, and the only company that can offer green services on a truly national basis across the whole country.
The group had prioritised an acquisition in the UK since its own buy-out and, following Livingstone’s introduction to the business, concluded that TLG offered the attractive combination of a strong management team, consistently robust financial performance and a close cultural fit for idverde in the UK. With about 1,000 staff, TLG has turnover of £65m and a forward order book of some £300m.
Herve Lançon, President of idverde, says: “This acquisition makes the idverde group the No.1 specialist in landscaping and grounds maintenance in Europe. Entering the UK market doesn’t just allow us to access a complementary territory but also to benefit from TLG’s deep roots in the British market. This project creates real added value for all our customers. We can also offer a unique opportunity to meet the needs of Anglo-French organisations by coordinating our services internationally.”
Bertrand Rabiller, Partner of Chequers Capital added “This acquisition is part of idverde’s development plan in Europe, with the logistical and financial support of Chequers Capital. The Landscape Group is an ideal platform to step into the British market and we will support TLG to achieve further growth in the UK. Livingstone proved to be a valuable generator of acquisition opportunities, as well as providing strong negotiation and logistical support for idverde.”
The Landscape Group is led by Chief Executive Nick Temple-Heald and a strong senior management team. Nick and CFO Doug Graham will take up posts on the board of idverde’s ultimate holding company (Armorica SA), making the group a truly international organisation.
Temple-Heald says:: “I cannot think of a better home for the future of TLG and its valued employees. The cultural and strategic fit is extraordinary. Both companies are green specialists, both companies are passionate about developing their people, and both companies want to improve the value and quality they can offer their customers. We have greatly appreciated Elysian’s support since 2008 and I am extremely proud of what the TLG team has achieved. We are now all enthusiastically preparing for the next stage of TLG’s journey within the idverde family.”
Jeremy Furniss, Partner at Livingstone, adds: “The combination of idverde and TLG creates the largest specialist landscaping and grounds maintenance business in Europe. The Livingstone team is delighted to have both originated the transaction and supported idverde and Chequers capital on the acquisition, which has created an exciting platform for further acquisitions in the UK.”