Recent News

August 30, 2019
Sterling Investment Partners Invests in HeartLand, a Progressive Commercial Landscape Services Firm

WESTPORT, Conn. – August 30, 2019 – Sterling Investment Partners (“Sterling”), a leading middle market private equity firm, announced today that it has made a majority equity investment in HeartLand (“HeartLand” or the “Company”), in partnership with management.  HeartLand is a premier provider of commercial landscape and facilities services, currently operating in five markets across the Central United States.  The Company’s founder, Edward Schatz Jr, backed by a proven and entrepreneurial team of “green industry” executives, chose to partner with Sterling to continue  building a scalable platform in the industry.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Kansas City, HeartLand serves clients through its five regional companies: Signature Landscape in Kansas City (Kansas and Western Missouri); Columbia Landcare (Central Missouri); Keesen Landscape (Denver, Colorado); Hillenmeyer Landscape (Lexington, Kentucky); and JML Landscape  (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).  Services include full-service maintenance (mowing, pruning, fertilization and chemical, irrigation, bed maintenance and annual flowers), landscape enhancements (property upgrades and renovations), and winter services (de-icing and snow removal).  Each operating platform is a leader in their respective market, with strong brand reputations for high-quality work, responsiveness, reliability, excellent communication and sustaining long-term client relationships.  HeartLand’s leadership team includes Chief Executive Officer Ed Schatz, Chief Development Officer Bill Dellecker, and Chief Financial Officer Peter Welch, who have decades of experience building successful businesses within the commercial landscape industry.  By selectively investing in top regional providers, HeartLand has created a diverse platform that combines the power of a pre-eminent local service model with the financial resources, integrated systems, technical and developmental resources of a progressive industry leader.  

Edward Schatz Jr, CEO of HeartLand, stated, “We conducted an intensive and focused search to secure a new financial partner who will support our continued growth; that process led us to the ultimate selection of Sterling Investment Partners. While they possess the depth of financial resources we needed, they also bring an understanding of and enthusiasm for this business.  Their proven track record and management partnership philosophy has resulted in the growth and development of multiple firms over the years and we are confident they will help HeartLand achieve that same level of success. We’ll make a strong team!”

Charles Santoro, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Sterling, commented, “We are very excited to partner with HeartLand’s entrepreneurial team, who have a compelling history of success in the space.  We look forward to working with the Company to expand its geographic reach, as the team continues to build a world-class platform.”
About Sterling Investment Partners
Sterling Investment Partners is a private equity firm that has been investing in and building middle-market companies for over 28 years with a highly-experienced, cohesive team of senior investment professionals. Sterling acquires businesses that the firm believes have strong, sustainable competitive advantages and significant opportunities for value creation. Over its history, Sterling has completed over 165 transactions, representing $16.8 billion in transaction value. Key industries Sterling focuses on include value-added distribution and business services.
About HeartLand
HeartLand is a leading provider of commercial landscape and facilities services, operating through five market-leading operating companies that serve clients in Kansas City, Denver, Columbia (MO), Lexington (KY), and Pittsburgh.​  Services include turn-key grounds maintenance, landscape enhancements and winter services (snow removal). The Company’s customer base is comprised of over 3,000 properties across all commercial market segments.  For more information, please visit