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Scotts LawnService Announces Largest Acquisition to Date

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Mar 14, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

SLS growth strategy on track

The Scotts Company (NYSE: SMG), the global leader in the lawn and garden industry, announced today that Scotts LawnService has acquired The Lawn Company, a major lawn care service company in the Boston area. The transaction is the largest acquisition to date by Scotts LawnService.

With this and previous acquisitions, as well as new expansion markets in 2002, Scotts LawnService now has company-owned operations in 35 markets, 30 of which are in the top 100 lawn service markets in the country. In addition, Scotts LawnService has franchises operating in 46 markets, 16 of which are in the top 100 lawn service markets in the country.

Last month, Scotts LawnService completed the acquisition of J.C. Ehrlich Co.'s lawn and tree care division in Reading, Pa., complementing its footprint in Pennsylvania, which now includes Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown and Lancaster. During 2002, Scotts LawnService also acquired businesses in Memphis, Charlotte, Dayton and Milwaukee and expanded its presence in metro Detroit.

These acquisitions keep Scotts LawnService on track to meet its aggressive growth projections for fiscal 2002. In fiscal 2001, Scotts LawnService reported revenues of $42 million, a 96 percent increase over the previous year. Scotts LawnService is the nation's second largest player in the $3.6 billion "do-it-for-me" lawn service market.

"The Lawn Company transaction demonstrates our continued commitment to Scotts LawnService and our belief that this business is critical to our overall profitable growth," said James Hagedorn, president and chief executive officer of The Scotts Company. "Our recent acquisitions keep us on target with our long-term goal of having a substantial presence in the top 100 lawn service markets within the next several years."

Growth for Scotts LawnService will come from a combination of acquisitions, start-up operations in strong lawn service markets and internal growth in existing markets.

"By leveraging the strength of the Scotts brand, we are appealing to the increasing numbers of consumers who want great results in their yard, and to have the work done for them," said Tony Colatrella, senior vice president of Scotts. "Our industry-leading customer satisfaction and retention levels are due to the high quality results produced by Scotts products and our ongoing commitment to customer service."

For more information on The Scotts Company please visit our web site at .

About Scotts

The Scotts Company is the world's leading supplier of consumer products for lawn and garden care, with a full range of products for professional horticulture as well. The company owns the industry's most recognized brands. In the U.S., the company's Scotts(R), Miracle-Gro(R) and Ortho(R) brands are market leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup(R) brand which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.K., Scotts' brands include Weedol(R) and Pathclear(R), the top-selling consumer herbicides; Evergreen(R), the leading lawn fertilizer line; the Levington(R) line of lawn and garden products; and Miracle-Gro(R). The Company also owns and operates Scotts LawnService(R), a leading provider of professional lawn service

Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995: Certain of the statements contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, information regarding the future economic performance and financial condition of the company, the plans and objectives of the company's management, and the company's assumptions regarding such performance and plans are forward looking in nature. Actual results could differ materially from the forward looking information in this release, due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Adverse weather conditions could adversely affect the Company's sales and financial results;
  • The Company's historical seasonality could impair the Company's ability to pay obligations as they come due and operating expenses;
  • The Company's substantial indebtedness could adversely affect the Company's financial health;
  • Public perceptions regarding the safety of the Company's products could adversely affect the Company;
  • The loss of one or more of the Company's top customers could adversely affect the Company's financial results because of the concentration of the Company's sales to a small number of retail customers;
  • The expiration of certain patents could substantially increase the Company's competition in the United States;
  • Compliance with environmental and other public health regulations could increase the Company's cost of doing business;
  • The Company's significant international operations make the Company more susceptible to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and to the costs of international regulation;
  • The ability of Scotts LawnService to make acquisitions and to successfully integrate acquisitions; and
  • The continued ability of Scotts LawnService to achieve high levels of customer retention.
Additional detailed information concerning a number of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking information contained in this release is readily available in the company's publicly filed quarterly, annual, and other reports.

SOURCE The Scotts Company

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