PE-backed Dwyer Group buys lawn care franchise The Grounds Guy

Dwyer Group Inc, which is backed by U.S. private equity firm The Riverside Company, has purchased Canadian lawn care franchise The Grounds Guys. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition of the Mono, Ontario-based franchisor includes some 34 franchisees representing 40 locations across Canada. They join 194 locations of its affiliated business in the United States. Based in Waco, Texas, Dwyer is a holding company of franchise companies. Earlier in 2015, it bought Edmonton’s Five Star Painting.


Dwyer Group Acquires The Grounds Guys of Canada

WACO, Texas, June 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Dwyer Group, Inc., one of the world’s largest franchising companies of trade service brands, has acquired The Grounds Guys of Canada. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is an exciting time of growth for Dwyer Group and a natural extension of our commitment to offer the premier grounds care services to customers across North America and around the world,” said Mike Bidwell, CEO and president of Dwyer Group.

Originally founded by 10 brothers in 1987 as Sunshine Grounds Care in Canada, the company became a successful family business operated by the van Stralen family, offering comprehensive landscape management services. Sunshine Grounds Care began franchising the concept in Canada and looked at ways to expand the business. In 2010, Dwyer Group entered into an agreement to market the franchise in the United States under a new brand name – The Grounds Guys – which was also adopted across the Canadian locations. The brand was a perfect fit for Dwyer Group’s growing organization of service trades and quickly became an award-winning franchise network with rapid growth across the U.S.

“We developed and expanded The Grounds Guys across the domestic United States in record time over the last five years,” Bidwell said. “Today, the business is an industry leader, and we see great opportunities to propel it even further.”

The full acquisition of the Canadian franchisor includes 34 franchisees representing 40 locations across Canada. They join 194 locations across the United States under the direction of Chris Elmore, president of The Grounds Guys.

“This is a tremendous achievement for our maturing network as we welcome our Canadian franchisees and look to the future from a dominant position,” Elmore said. “In return, our Canadian franchisees will benefit greatly from the collective family of service brands they now join across Dwyer Group, and the buying power, marketing expertise, training and support it brings.”

Dwyer Group will maintain an office for The Grounds Guys in Canada. In addition, the van Stralen family will remain consultants for the brand and stakeholders in the company as equity investors with Dwyer Group. Peter van Stralen will also become a director of Dwyer Group Canada.

“Our expertise in franchise development and support across our service trades continue to blend perfectly with the landscape management skills that the van Stralen brothers have established for The Grounds Guys,” Bidwell said. “Now we look forward to taking this brand to the next level with continued growth and the new addition and support our Canadian locations.”

About Dwyer Group, Inc.®:

Dwyer Group, Inc., based in Waco, Texas, is a holding company of 11 franchise businesses, each selling and supporting a different franchise under the following service marks: Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, The Grounds Guys®, Five Star Painting®, Molly Maid®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Handyman®, Mr. Rooter® (Drain Doctor® in the UK and Portugal), ProTect Painters®, and Rainbow International®. Collectively, these independent franchise concepts offer customers worldwide a broad base of residential and commercial services. In addition, Dwyer Group® operates glass shops in New England under the Portland Glass® brand name. Dwyer Group is a portfolio company of The Riverside Company®, a global private equity firm. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 75 companies. More information on Dwyer Group, or its franchise concepts, is available at

Photo courtesy of The Ground Guys