(Radio Iowa) – Deere and Company is selling a majority interest in its landscaping supply and distribution business. Company spokesperson Ken Golden says John Deere Landscapes was formed in 2001 and now has more than 2,000 employees at about 400 locations in 41 states. “John Deere Landscapes is the largest U.S. wholesale supplier of landscaping materials, irrigation, nursery, and outdoor lighting materials,” Golden said.
There are Iowa locations in Cedar Rapids and Clive. Deere officials have agreed to sell 60 percent of Deere Landscapes to Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice, which has offices in New York City and London. It’s known as a buy-out firm that focuses on operations, with investments in a broad range of companies — from Culligan and Servicemaster, to Hertz and David’s Bridal.
“The longevity and experience that they have was one of the reasons we thought it was appealing to work with them,” Golden said. The sale of John Deere Landscapes is valued at $465 million, and Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice will give Deere $300 million in cash as part of the deal. Golden noted that Deere continues to streamline itself, focusing on farm and construction equipment and complimentary products. Deere and Company is Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer.