Clayton, Dubilier & Rice today announced an agreement under which CD&R will acquire John Deere Landscapes, a unit of Deere & Company's Agriculture & Turf segment. Deere will initially retain a 40% ownership stake in the new standalone company. The carve-out transaction is valued at approximately $465 million.

With over $1 billion in annual revenue, JDL is the largest North American distributor of landscaping products sold primarily to professional landscape contractors for use in residential and commercial settings. Operating over 400 branches in the United States and Canada, JDL is the only national distributor in a highly fragmented industry. JDL distributes wholesale irrigation, landscape lighting, nursery, and turf and maintenance supplies. Some turf and maintenance products are sold under the JDL-owned LESCO brand.

"John Deere Landscapes is a market-leading, branch-based distribution business managed by a talented executive team that we are very excited to have as partners," said David Wasserman, a CD&R Partner. "The business has many attractive features, including scale, breadth of product offering and service excellence, all of which provide significant strategic and competitive advantages in supporting the requirements of the professional landscape contractor."

"CD&R's focus on growth and deep experience with businesses like ours make them an ideal partner," said David Werning, President of John Deere Landscapes. "Deere's ongoing equity ownership reflects its interest in remaining part of a successful landscapes distribution business."

"The new company should benefit from a recovery in residential and commercial construction activity as well as through the meaningful value creation opportunities available to drive the business forward," said CD&R Partner Ken Giuriceo. "We look forward to working with the JDL management team and Deere to build an even stronger value-added distributor."

Paul Pressler, a CD&R Operating Partner, will assume the role of Chairman upon the close of the transaction, expected in December.

CD&R has obtained committed financing from UBS Loan Finance LLC, ING Capital LLC, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., and Natixis. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to CD&R in connection with the transaction.