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Leonard Green weighs $1.5 billion sale of landscaping firm Brickman: sources

By Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Leonard Green & Partners LP is exploring a sale of Brickman Group Holdings Inc that could value the largest commercial landscaping company in the United States at up to $1.5 billion, three people familiar with the matter said this week.

Leonard Green, a Los-Angeles based private equity firm, has asked Barclays and Morgan Stanley to run an auction for Brickman, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential.

Representatives of Leonard Green and Brickman did not respond to requests for comment. Barclays declined to comment while Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Brickman tends to gardens of offices, campuses, hotels, shopping centers, healthcare facilities, industrial parks and homes, looks after trees, removes snow and maintains sports turf across 29 states.

Leonard Green acquired a majority stake in Brickman in January 2007 in a $847 million deal in which members of the Brickman family and the company's management retained equity interests. The buyout firm committed $222 million of equity to the deal, according to a November 2006 regulatory filing.

Scott Brickman, whose grandfather founded the eponymous company in 1939, stepped down as chief executive last year after 14 years at the helm to become its chairman. He succeeded his father Dick, who became chairman emeritus.

Brickman's CEO is now Andrew Kerin, a former senior executive at Aramark Corp, another private equity-backed company. Aramark, which provides food and facility services, is owned by GS Capital Partners LP, CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Warburg Pincus LLC.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

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