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KKR Agrees to Buy Landscaper Brickman for $1.6 Billion

KKR & Co. Co-Chairman Henry Kravis
Henry Kravis, co-chairman, co-chief executive officer and co-founder of KKR & Co., speaks at a media briefing in Hong Kong, on Sept. 16, 2013. Photographer: Jessica Hromas/Bloomberg

KKR & Co., the private-equity firm led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, agreed to buy landscape-maintenance company Brickman Group Ltd. from Leonard Green & Partners LP for $1.6 billion.

KKR’s investment will come from its 11th North American buyout fund as well as other pools, the New York-based firm said in a statement today. Leonard Green & Partners, a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm, acquired closely held Brickman in 2006 for an undisclosed sum, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Private-equity firms are investing in landscaping businesses as construction picks up following the financial crisis. Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC, the buyout firm led by Don Gogel, last month agreed to buy the majority of Deere & Co.’s landscaping business in a $465 million deal. U.S. housing starts have risen 19 percent in the past year, according to national data released Nov. 8.

“We are excited to invest in the company and look forward to working closely with the Brickman leadership team to continue to build on the company’s market-leading position,” Simon Brown, KKR’s head of consumer-products investing, said in the statement today.

KKR was advised by Credit Suisse Group AG and received legal advice from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Brickman, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, received advice from Barclays Plc, Morgan Stanley, Latham & Watkins LLP and Dechert LLP.

KKR expects to finish raising its latest North American buyout fund by year-end with more than $8.3 billion, it said last month.

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