The Dwyer Group, a Waco-based franchising empire that has bought 11 companies in recent years and watched revenue among franchisees climb to $1.7 billion, has itself been bought by a New York-based investment firm.
The transaction will give The Dwyer Group the money to continue its expansion and likely will mean more hiring at its Waco corporate office, President and CEO Mike Bidwell said.
Harvest Partners, the buyer, is a private equity firm founded in 1981 that generally buys and manages middle-market companies in a variety of sectors, according to a press release. The Dwyer Group serves as a holding company for 20 service brands, including Mr. Rooter, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, The Grounds Guys, Five Star Painting and Drain Doctor.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Dwyer Group management team,” Harvest Partners’ Steve Eisenstein said in the press release. “They have built an excellent company, and we look forward to providing additional financial and strategic resources to help them further build on their market leader status in the service franchise category.”
The Dwyer Group includes 3,200 franchisees operating in the United States and eight other countries. Systemwide sales among franchisees now exceed $1.7 billion annually, though Bidwell would not disclose revenues for the company itself.
The company occupies a 100,000-square-foot cluster of buildings on University Parks Drive near Cameron Park and has added an 18,000-square-foot office for executives in recent years, Bidwell said.
Franchisees from around the world visit Waco to receive hands-on training, the company has said.
It employs more than 800 people systemwide, including 280 in Waco, with staffing increasing by more than 30 percent as the company grew under the ownership of The Riverside Company, which bought The Dwyer Group in 2003, sold it, then bought it again in 2014, according to the press release.
“The incredible support of Riverside, the skill and resources of our team, and the successful completion of 11 add-on acquisitions to Dwyer Group during this second investment have dramatically shaped the trajectory of our growth,” Bidwell wrote in the press release.
Bidwell said the company will continue to consider buying more brands, “but we have determined to take over larger companies, though not as many.”
“Dwyer Group is such a special company that we enjoyed two successful partnerships with them,” Riverside partner Meranee Phing wrote in the press release. “It’s been deeply rewarding to work with a wonderful and talented team that shared our goals and values as we realized our vision for the company.”