Daily News: January 4, 2012

Levine Leichtman Acquires Lawn Doctor, Fifth Third Inks Financing

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced that it has partnered with management to complete the acquisition of Holmdel, NJ-based Lawn Doctor, Inc., (LD), a franchisor of lawn care services, which operates through a nationwide network of over 460 independently-owned franchise locations in 38 states. Fifth Third Bank provided senior debt financing.

For over four decades, LD has provided its customers with the highest quality lawn, tree and shrub care, as well as pest control services, through custom tailored programs that are designed to ensure year-round maintenance of healthy and beautiful properties.

LD is the first investment from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners SBIC Fund, L.P., a $225 million private equity fund. According to Lauren Leichtman, co-founder and CEO of LLCP, “Lawn Doctor is an iconic brand with a long history of growth and innovation. It offers a differentiated and personalized approach to lawn care and leads the industry in customer satisfaction and retention. We are excited to partner with the current CEO Russell Frith, co-founder and SVP Bob Magda and the LD management team and look forward to the continued growth of the business.”

Frith and Magda will each make significant investments in the company and will remain engaged with LD through their new roles as senior advisors. As a part of the transition, long-time LD executive, Scott Frith, will take over as CEO. ”

LD was advised by Sperry, Mitchell & Company.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners is a Los Angeles-based investment firm that manages approximately $5 billion of institutional investment capital through private equity partnerships, distressed debt and leveraged loan funds.