NOTEBOOK: Schill Grounds Management Expands, Goes International
Jerry Schill, CEO and founder, Schill Grounds Management, headquartered in Greater Cleveland.
Schill Grounds Management

NOTEBOOK: Schill Grounds Management Expands, Goes International

SGM acquires companies six and seven in two years as it adds Ontario's TLC Landscaping and Cincinnati's Grounds Elite and becomes one of North America's largest family-owned landscaping companies.

Schill Grounds Management is on an M&A hot streak, this time adding its first international acquisition along with reinforcing its foothold in the Cincinnati grounds management market.

The company announced its expansion into Canada with the acquisition of London, Ontario-based TLC Landscaping, a best-in-class commercial landscaping and snow and ice removal operation that caters to clients of all sizes in the region. TLC will continue operating with that name as it joins the SGM family and will expand into the Toronto area in the coming months. Together, they bring better technology and operational support for commercial and multifamily customers in the Ontario market, which has many similarities to Schill’s home market of Ohio. TLC CEO Jay Murray will become President of Canada for Schill, and TLC VP of Operations David Leff will become Director of Operations for Canada.

“TLC and Schill share the same values of superior service, innovation and investing to grow the business as well as enhancing a strong company culture," Murray, who has run TLC for more than 35 years. "We are thrilled to become part of the Schill ecosystem as we meet the needs of customers in southern Ontario and beyond."

And according to the company, the TLC deal is just the first as SGM seeks additional M&A opportunities in the southern Ontario province to strengthen its position in and around the Greater Toronto region.

Stateside, SGM announced the purchase of Grounds Elite, a complete grounds management service that expands its footprint in southwest Ohio and into the Dayton market.

“We are very excited to add TLC’s visionary leadership team and employees to the Schill family as we come together to provide the very best service to customers in south Ontario and enter the Toronto market with strength and momentum,” says Jerry Schill, CEO and founder of Schill Grounds Management, headquartered in the Greater Cleveland market. “In Cincinnati, Grounds Elite gives us a greater service footprint and operational efficiency across southwest Ohio and Dayton.”

Schill has been active in M&A since he partnered with Argonne Capital Group in 2020. Together, the SGM and Argonne plan is to consolidate the fragmented commercial landscaping industry through the strategic acquisition of privately held landscaping and snow and ice management businesses throughout the Midwest and the southern part of Ontario as many family-owned companies seek an exit or retirement strategy.

The acquisitions are the sixth and seventh purchases in less than two years for SGM. The other recent acquisitions include:

  • Enviroscapes in Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia
  • Ward + Thornton Landscapes in Cincinnati
  • Fredericks Landscaping in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
  • Ohio Valley Group in Cleveland
  • McCoy Landscape Services in Marion, Ohio

With the recent purchases of TLC and Grounds Elite, Schill will have a team of about 775 employees, making SGM one of the largest family-owned landscaping companies in North America.

Mike Zawacki is editor of Snow Magazine.