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Log In / Register | Apr 16, 2014

Dwyer Group Sold to Private Equity Firm

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Dina Dwyer-Owens and TZP's Sam Katz and officers, photo/dwyer

WACO, Texas. – Home services franchisor The Dwyer Group, Inc. is being bought out by New York-based private equity firm TZP Group LLC.  Dwyer’s previous private investor,The Riverside Co., announced on Thursday that it has agreed to sell the franchisor of seven brands for approximately $150 million.  Based out of Waco, Texas, The Dwyer Group has 37 company-owned glass service stores and 1,500 franchised units. All account for nearly $800 million in annual system-wide revenues.

“The partnership with the Dwyer management lasted almost eight years and, during this time, the management-owners transformed the business in scale and capabilities; from the Board work, to the ultimate financial returns, to lifelong relationships we hope to retain with this very special team of executives. We feel very fortunate to have participated in this partnership,” said Riverside Principal Chip Walker. The Dwyer Group now represents seven brands: Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, The Grounds Guys, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, Mr. Rooter and Rainbow International. Recently, Dwyer launched the Ground Guys lawn care brand.

Riverside’s outside director is the former chair of the International Franchise Association, a lobbying group that largely represents the interests of franchising firms. . After purchasing Dwyer in 2003, Riverside grew Dwyer’s existing auto glass business and grew the number of franchisees from 1,000 to over 1,500.

Dwyer-Owens echoed Walker’s remarks.

“We are thrilled about joining forces with TZP Group,” said Dina Dwyer-Owens, Chairwoman and CEO of The Dwyer Group and a second-generation franchisor. TZP has agreed to have Dwyer-Owens remain in place along with the entire executive team. Company officers, including brand presidents, will reacquire shares in the new business. “We’re incredibly proud of the job our team has done to grow The Dwyer Group year after year.  And the opportunity exists to do even more. TZP will be a strong partner and will be a big help in getting us to that next level.  Together we have ambitious goals for the support and expansion of our growing network, and the common interest to find complementary businesses to add to our franchise lineup.”

Dwyer CEO and Chairperson Dina Dwyer-Owens also has led the International Franchise Association. She was its chairwoman in 2009. 

That IFA connection was helpful for this deal. Sam Katz approached Michael Bidwell, COO of the Dwyer Group at an International Franchise Association multi-unit conference in the spring about a potential buyout. Dwyer-Owens was scheduled to speak at that conference but had to pull out at the last minute.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome The Dwyer Group to the TZP family and become involved with a group of franchisees and associates dedicated to a unique Code of Values,” said Sam Katz, managing partner of TZP Group LLC.  “As a leader in the service industry, The Dwyer Group’s brands complete over two million service calls a year and are well positioned for expansion.  Equally important to our investment philosophy and our support for growing companies, Dwyer’s executives remain fully committed to the business. Dwyer is the perfect complement to our portfolio.”

A spokesperson for the company said that the franchisor immediately notified franchisees when the definitive agreement to purchase the company and its brands had been finalized. A video from Dwyer-Owens and new owner Katz was sent out before press releases were provided to the public.

Managing Partners Stuart Baxter and Loren Schlachet worked with Walker on the transaction for Riverside, along with Vice President Scott Bogard. Harris Williams & Co. advised Riverside on the pending sale of Dwyer to TZP Group, Madison Capital was the agent for senior financing for TZP, and Madison Capital and Babson Capital provided senior and mezzanine financing, respectively, on the original transaction.  Jones Day provided legal counsel on the deal.

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