Maryland-based Brickman Group merges with California firm

The Brickman Group, the Rockville-based landscaping giant that began 75 years ago from the back of a pickup truck, has merged with California-based ValleyCrest Companies.

Terms of the deal were not announced. The merger, finalized Monday, follows the purchase of Brickman by global private equity giant KKR last November for $1.6 billion.

The new organization has more than 20,000 employees and $2 billion in revenue.

“This merger combines over 140 years of industry knowledge, innovation and experience,” said Andrew Kerin, chief executive of the combined company, in a statement.

Brickman and ValleyCrest will operate under their respective brands. KKR has majority ownership of the combined company and MSD Capital retains a significant minority ownership interest, according to a news release.

The Brickman Group was founded in Illinois in 1939 by Theodore W. Brickman Sr., then a horticulturist for the Chicago Park District who worked out of the back of his pickup truck with a set of lawn tools. It grew into one of the largest firms of its kind, running a nationwide landscaping, lawn-maintenance and snow-removal business.

ValleyCrest Companies was founded in 1949 in Calabasas, Calif., and is listed by Forbes magazine as one of the 500 largest privately owned companies in the United States. It has 11,200 employees and 150 locations nationwide.

Theodore Brickman’s son Dick grew the company through the 1960s and 1970s before handing it over to his son, Scott, who was chief executive until 2012. Two years ago, Brickman recruited Kerin from Aramark’s Global Food, Hospitality and Facility Services operation to become its chief executive. Kerin eventually became chairman.

Scott Brickman said in an e-mail he is no longer involved in the company’s day-to-day operations and referred questions to Kerin, whose office said he was unavailable. Brickman is a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the Ted Leonsis-led firm that owns Verizon Center, the NBA Wizards and the NHL Capitals.

Capital Business is The Post’s weekly publication focusing on the region’s business community. For more Washington business news go to www.capbiz.biz.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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