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Brehob Nursery sells to out-of-state conglomerate

December 2, 2016

Indianapolis-based Brehob Nursery Inc., a wholesale nursery and landscape distributor with two facilities in the metro area, has been acquired by Kansas City, Missouri-based DCA Outdoor Inc.

The deal closed on Thursday, according to DCA founder and president Tory Schwope. He declined to share financial terms of the transaction or Brehob’s annual revenue.

Brehob, which was founded in 1969, sells its products to professional landscape companies and retail garden centers in Indianapolis and surrounding areas including Bloomington, Terre Haute, Anderson, Louisville and some parts of Illinois. Its two local facilities are located on the south side of Indianapolis at 4316 Bluff Road and in Westfield at 4867 Sheridan Road.

For about 10 months out of the year, Brehob has 170 employees. During the company’s short off-season period, employment drops to about 70  employees who work year-round, Schwope said.  

The company’s former owners, John Brehob and his wife, Judy, will be retiring, but they have agreed to stay on until a new person is hired to run the company, Schwope said. Other than John and Judy Brehob, everyone else will keep their jobs, Schwope said.

“We are excited to see our nursery join the family of companies that Tory Schwope has assembled,” John Brehob said in a news release. “We are confident he will continue the tradition of exceptional quality and service that has been the hallmark of our family and employees.”

IBJ was unable to reach John or Judy Brehob for additional comment Friday morning.

Schwope said Brehob’s strong reputation—and its geographic location—made it an attractive acquisition target.

DCA already serves the Kansas City and Des Moines, Iowa, markets, and the Brehob acquisition gives the company a foothold in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis is culturally and climatologically similar to Kansas City and Des Moines, Schwope said, and all three areas also currently have “a robust construction market.” Construction activity is generally considered a good indicator of the strength of the landscaping market, he said.

Brehob’s history and its strong brand recognition were also a big plus, Schwope said.

“Brehob is a gold-standard distributor. They were one of the pioneers of the industry,” he said.

Because of Brehob’s strong brand identity, Schwope said the company will continue to do business under its existing name, with a small change. It will now be known as Brehob Nurseries LLC, to reflect the fact that it has two locations. Corporate offices will move from the Indianapolis facility to Westfield, which is bigger and better equipped for corporate functions, Schwope said.

Brehob is now one of eight subsidiary companies owned by DCA. Schwope formed DCA earlier this year as a way to vertically integrate nursery stock production, distribution, transportation and sales and marketing.

Schwope started in the industry in 2000 with KAT Nurseries in Kansas City. Over the years he enlarged his holdings by starting or acquiring a number of other companies. 

DCA’s current holdings include agricultural producers Anna Evergreen, Schwope Brothers Tree Farms and Utopian Plants; landscape distributors Brehob Nurseries and KAT Wholesale Outdoor; retail/agritourism business Colonial Gardens; sales and marketing company PlantRight; and transportation company Utopian Transport. 

“We hope to continue to diversify our portfolio,” Schwope said.
 

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