Blackstone, KKR compete for landscaper Brickman Group -sources


By Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim

NEW YORK, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP andKKR & Co LP are among the buyout firms vying forBrickman Group Holdings Inc, the largest U.S. commerciallandscaping company up for sale for around $1.5 billion,according to people familiar with the matter.

TPG Capital LP and CVC Capital Partners Ltd are alsoparticipating in the auction for Brickman, which is now in itsfinal stages, the sources said this week, asking not to beidentified because the sale process is confidential.

Leonard Green & Partners LP, a Los Angeles-based, privateequity firm, has asked Barclays Plc and Morgan Stanley to run an auction for Brickman, people familiar with thematter told Reuters in August.

Neither Leonard Green nor Brickman responded to requests forcomments. Blackstone, TPG and CVC declined to comment while aKKR spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request forcomment.

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Brickman tends to the gardensof offices, campuses, hotels, shopping centers, healthcarefacilities, industrial parks and homes, looks after trees,removes snow and maintains sports turf across 29 states.

Leonard Green acquired a majority stake in Brickman inJanuary 2007 in a $847 million deal in which members of theBrickman family and the company's management retained equityinterests. The buyout firm committed $222 million of equity tothe deal, according to a November 2006 regulatory filing.

Scott Brickman, whose grandfather founded the eponymouscompany in 1939, stepped down as chief executive last year after14 years at the helm to become its chairman. He succeeded hisfather Dick, who became chairman emeritus.

Brickman's CEO is now Andrew Kerin, a former seniorexecutive at Aramark Corp, another private equity-backedcompany.

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