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Published in Small Business

West Michigan Tree Services sells to PE-backed firm

BY Wednesday, November 09, 2022 10:20am

GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan Tree Services, an operating company of Grand Arbor Group Inc. of Grand Rapids, has been acquired by a New Bedford, N.Y.-based professional tree and shrub care company. 

Dan Klaver and Larry Pfeifer, the owners of West Michigan Tree Services, and the company’s staff will remain with the business following the sale to private equity-backed SavATree LLC

In a statement, the owners said they were attracted to do a deal with SavATree, whom they described as “the highest quality leaders in our industry,” because the firm maintains the “local feel” of its acquired companies. 

West Michigan Tree Services offers tree care, tree pruning, tree removal and stump grinding, and land and lot clearing services across the West Michigan region, including Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. 

The deal fits with SavATree’s growth strategy to consolidate local tree, shrub and lawn care businesses and share back office resources and staff, according to a statement. 

“West Michigan Tree Services is a distinguished company in the West Michigan region that shares many of SavATree’s core values and commitment to top quality care,” SavATree CEO Carmine Schiavon said in a statement. “We’re very happy to continue the company’s legacy and support its clients with augmented service lines and science-backed treatment options.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The transaction is the ninth for SavATree in 2022, according to a report in trade publication Landscape Management

The deal for West Michigan Tree Services adds a third Michigan operation to SavATree, which was founded in 1978 and in August 2021 became a portfolio company of London-based Apax Funds LLP. At the time, Apax Funds said it planned “to accelerate the company’s already impressive growth trajectory both organically and through strategic M&A, while continuing to deliver the highest level of customer care and service.”

Grand Rapids investment banking firm Charter Capital Partners advised West Michigan Tree Services on the deal. 

“We could see that SavATree was the perfect partner for West Michigan Tree Services and were delighted to make the connection and facilitate a transaction that ensured both parties achieved their goals,” Mike Brown, managing director at Charter Capital, said in a statement. “We are excited to see how this merger contributes to SaveATree’s continued growth.”

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