BRADENTON -- Turner Tree and Landscape, one of the most recognizable names in the business locally, is close to securing a deal that would allow co-owner and operator Darrell Turner to remain in his current role.
Since the company first went on the market a year ago, owners Darrell and Mary Ann Turner have dropped their asking price by 65 percent to the $6.9 million it’s listed for today.
But the 30-year-old landscape company is only seeking a buyer for Mary Ann Turner’s 51 percent controlling share, stemmed largely from the Turners divorce in March 2010, court records show.
Company representatives say the business remains profitable and successful.
The Turners hope to have a contract in place by April 1 that will turn over Mary Ann Turner’s stake for $3.5 million. The undisclosed parties also would assume about $2 million in debt, Darrell Turner said.
The deal would allow Darrell Turner to continue as the face of the business, keeping the successful operation intact and his philanthropic efforts in the community ongoing.
Mary Ann Turner declined to comment Tuesday.
“You can’t advertise half of a company,” he said. “I want to stay with the business, but my wife wants out.”
Turner Tree and Landscape first went on the market early last year for $19.5 million, with the price sliding by more than $12.5 million since.
That figure includes the business operations and its headquarters at 64th Street Court East in Bradenton, as well as the inventory of trees and equipment worth some $1.2 million, and 123 acres of farmland.
The company was founded in 1983, growing to its peak during the housing boom.
Turner now employes about 80 workers with about $8 million in annual sales. It remains one of the largest landscape contractors in Southwest Florida.
Steady interest has come from buyers both out of state and locally.
Any potential buyers have been forced to sign a confidentiality agreement, said Stan Rutstein, the listing agent with Re/Max Alliance Group.
“We are out there trying to sell it,” Rutstein said. “What else can I say?”
Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @JoshSalman