ServiceMaster Acquires Inspect-All Services, a PCT Top 100 & Inc. 5000 Company

ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV), a Fortune 1000 company, through its subsidiary, Terminix International Company LP, has acquired the Atlanta-area pest control division of Inspect-All Services, headquartered in Conyers, Georgia, from siblings Brian and Brandon Lunsford.

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Pest Control M&A Weekly Commentary – April 7, 2019 – Rentokil Acquires Mosquito Control Services, I Tried to Buy Rentokil North America, Q&A, Inside Paris

7 April 2019, Gulf of Suez, Egypt

It’s been a busy start to 2019. Multiples peaked in late 2018 and have remained relatively constant, drawing a continuous supply of sellers to the bargaining table.

As we rapidly approach the start of the pest control season in North America, I’ve received quite a few questions over the last few weeks as to whether or not I think that this market will continue to run. Given the fact that the ECB and the Federal Reserve have reversed course on monetary policy (i.e., they’ve finally admitted to the public that it’s impossible for them to tighten), my guess is that this buoyant M&A market will continue throughout 2019 unless we get a repeat of 2008. One thing I will say, it’s clear to me, through first-hand experience in dozens of emerging markets that global growth is beginning to slow.

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Rentokil Steritech Acquires Mosquito Control Services


The addition of Mosquito Control Services, one of the largest vector control companies in the US, bolsters Rentokil Steritech’s leading global position in vector disease control 

The Potomac Company today announced the acquisition of its client, private equity-owned Mosquito Control Services (“MCS”), based in Metairie, LA, by Rentokil Steritech. The transaction closed in late 2018.

Mosquito Control Services is one of the largest vector control companies in the United States, operating out of ten offices in five Southeastern US states. By merging MCS’s operations with its current vector control platform – Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) – Rentokil Steritech is now the leading global service provider in the fight against Zika virus, Dengue fever, West Nile virus and other vector-borne diseases.

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Pest Control M&A Weekly Commentary – January 21, 2019 – AX Buys Innovative, 2019 Outlook, Q&A, New Structure

A New Format for the Weekly Commentary

While I was back in the US in December, I had a dinner meeting with a client who said, “I would like to open this meeting with some criticism. I never miss an issue of your Weekly Commentary, but recently you’ve gone off the rails with your economic analysis. While I might not be the smartest guy in the industry, I consider myself smarter than most, and I wasn’t really sure what the hell you were talking about last month (in reference to this: Weekly Commentary November 5). Do you really think people in the pest control industry want to read about economics?” He might have a point, people in the United States Congress certainly don’t. Case-in-point, I just heard Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez on the news saying that the reason why the unemployment rate is so low is because people have two jobs, and they are counted twice.

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Innovative Pest Management, a PCT Top 100 Firm, Acquired by American Pest, an Anticimex Company

The Potomac Company is pleased to announce the acquisition of its client, Innovative Pest Management (“IPM”), by American Pest (“American”), an Anticimex Company.

IPM was founded 14 years ago by Dr. Richard Kramer, Luke Krikstan and Joshua Kramer. What began as a small, three-man operation quickly grew to become one of the largest privately held pest control businesses in the DC metro area, a recent newcomer to the PCT Top 100 list and the Best of DC winner for three of the last four years.

Richard Kramer, a PhD entomologist, had been in the industry for many years before striking out on his own with friend Luke and son Josh to start Innovative.

Dr. Richard Kramer commented: “I have been in pest management in some fashion or another since I was 16 years-old and could drive a spray truck for my father’s Florida lawncare business.  I enjoyed the pleasure of working in that business with my father who taught me pride in workmanship and respect for customers.  Most recently over the past 14 years, I experienced the irreplaceable opportunity to work with and end my full-time pest management career with Josh, my son and the face and personality of IPM.   Also I had the wonderful opportunity to build IPM with our fantastic partner Luke, the company workhorse, who went anywhere anytime to take care of a customer’s need. Our people and continuous effort to solve customer pest management problems were the keys to IPM’s growth and success.  Though the customer might not always be right, the customer always is first.”

Along the way, Richard and Josh have revised the fourth edition of their now world-famous PCT Technician’s Handbook.

Paul Giannamore, managing director of Potomac, commented on the transaction: “Luke and the Kramers created IPM out of an idea to build a business from scratch that would be a place where they themselves would be proud to work. From the early years of bootstrapping the business and taking customers calls from backyards, all the way to the PCT Top 100 list, they grew Innovative one employee at a time, never losing sight of the original premise, which was always putting their people first and building a workplace that they were proud of. I’m proud to have advised the shareholders on this transaction and proud to call the Kramers friends.”

Dr. Kramer commented on working with Potomac:

“I have been in the Pest Management side of the business for 27 years, including 5 years at NPMA and I have not met anyone involved in M&A in our business that is more professional and knowledgeable than Paul Giannamore. Through the entire process involving lawyers, accountants, tax advisors, etc., Paul was the go-to guy for the final answer. I would trust no one else with the sale of my pest management business.”


He went on to say, “The decision to sell a business that my son and I had nurtured over the past 14 years was one of the most di!cult decisions I have made in my life. We started discussions with Paul more than two years prior to the sale and he walked us through the pros and cons of a sale now or later and at no time pushed one way or the other. He provided sage advice to guide us to our ultimate decision. One would think that’s the end of the story but as negotiations progressed and then stalled (due to our reflection on what we were about to do) he patiently and continuously advised on the options we were considering. Once we had decided to move forward with the sale he connected us with an accountant and other parties who could answer questions outside his expertise. Everyday until the time of closing he was by our side insuring that the merger process was smooth and seamless. After the closing he continues to be a trusted adviser. Again, I would trust no one else with the sale of my pest management business.”

The Innovative Shareholders: Dr. Richard Kramer, Josh Kramer and Luke Krikstan

Josh Kramer, partner at Innovative, commented:

Even before I met Paul Giannamore, I considered myself a student of his. A student you might ask?  At the time, Paul was advising a close friend of mine Nam Kreer who was preparing to exit his successful family pest control business that had been incubating for decades.  Ahead of Nam’s inviting me and my father-business partner Dr. Richard Kramer to join him and Paul for an introduction at one of their seemingly routine lunch sessions, I dug into PCT and YouTube to see what I could learn about Paul and Potomac.  I can remember popping in my ear buds late one evening nearly five years ago to listen to his podcast on Pest Control Business Valuations and M & A 101.  A mere ten minutes into the podcast, I knew that if the time ever came to pull the trigger and sell our business, that Paul was destined to be our guy.  Selling was not on my radar at the time—but Paul had my attention. 

There was no other firm to consider as I was convinced that Potomac singlehandedly paved the way to add exponential value on the seller-side and his seemingly magical wisdom was driving valuations to heights that should be alarming to the buyer-side.  Despite the fact that I was a business major, albeit 22 years removed, I had never heard of a value creation zone, didn’t understand the impact of EBITDA and other nuances associated with valuing companies.  Perhaps this information was out there but it wasn’t unique to the pest control industry.  Paul made valuation relevant to pest control company owners and illustrated the metrics in a way that we business owners could easily understand.  He is a real-life open book. 

The time wasn’t right to sell then however, or even realistically ponder the idea.  But as a business owner, the exit should always be evaluated.  In true fast forward form, we were in our 11th year and we were in the midst of building one of the fastest growing pest control companies in the D.C. metro area.  Things were moving fast and we even successfully on-boarded our first acquired firm three years ago.  Then, just last year—with two partners who were inching closer to well-deserved retirement, we decided that the best course of action for the entirety of our team was to finally take a deeper dive and explore our exit.  Various scenarios were considered and all along the way, Paul truly had our best interests at heart.  First and foremost, he wanted to ensure that this decision was well thought out and not only influenced as a function of high-valuation market dynamics.  So, it was made abundantly clear there was no pressure to pull the trigger.  Ultimately though, despite our profound day-day satisfaction and love of our people and what we do, our three partners reached a consensus, put our head down and charged the finish line.  I could not have asked for a better exit mentor, educator, advisor, therapist and close family friend that is Paul.

Paul Giannamore and Ericka Andes of The Potomac Company advised the Company on its sale to Anticimex / American Pest. Cory Vargo, Partner at Wipfli, advised the Company and the shareholders on tax and transaction structure.

Pest Control M&A Weekly Commentary – January 8, 2019 – Over a Half Billion Dollars in Deals in 75 Days, Rollins Acquires Clark Pest Control, Gotta Kick Up Some Tribute to Uncle Paulie

In November, I “officially” called the top for the pest control M&A market for this cycle and in July I said that you would see over a half billion dollars of pest control transactions close by the end of the year. I undershot volume by at least $100 million and missed the timing by a month or so, but I was close.

December and January were extremely active months in the US pest control industry.

  • Rollins has officially entered into a purchase agreement to acquire Clark Pest Control of California, which is the 8th largest pest control company in the United States
  • Rentokil was busy in the US in the fourth quarter, which we’ll be talking about more later this month with an announcement.
  • Finally, the Anticimex crew caused me a lot of eye rolls from the wife with a New Years Eve closing, which we’ll discuss next Monday when I get back to my normal writing routine.

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Pest Control M&A Weekly Commentary – November 5, 2018 – I’m Calling a Top, American Pest / Anticimex Acquires Triple S Services, Valuation Multiples Peak

7 November 2018
Stockholm, Sweden

Well, this is going to be a long one. 

I intended to write a short post-Pestworld piece, but I just had so much great material from Pestworld and the subsequent two weeks of meetings that this post has really taken on a life of its own.

I had meetings in Stockholm this week and now I am on the flight back to Switzerland — which is going to act as my tomato timer on writing this article. So, I apologize in advance if this one gets a little messy.

I am going to make a risky move and officially call a top in the pest control M&A market for this cycle. In doing so, I am going to attempt to provide you more fact than opinion and you can come up with your own conclusions. If I’m wrong, at some point, this will provide some great fodder for the glorified real estate agents out there.

But as usual, before we get to the juicy stuff, we’ve got some transactions to announce.  [Read more…]

Anticimex / American Pest Acquires Triple S Pest Services

Potomac is pleased to announce the sale of its client, Triple S Services —a family-owned pest control firm with locations serving D.C., Maryland, and Virginia — to American Pest, an Anticimex portfolio company.

Triple S Pest Services, a PCT Top 100 company for many years, was founded in 1981 and has a solid reputation among its clients for offering reliable, low-risk pest control services for local, state and government institutions, private businesses, and residential homes. [Read more…]

Pest Control M&A Weekly Commentary – October 1, 2018 – All Eyes on Rollins: The ROL Complex and Asset Prices in the Pest Control Industry

Consultants and business advisors love to use witless cliches and platitudes. Not only that, when they utter this crapola, they say it as if it’s deep insight or profound, original thought.

I know this because I, like you, am forced to attend stupid seminars and conferences in order to rack up professional continuing education credits.

PestWorld is coming up in less than a month. If you want to hear some nonsense, just show up and listen in on some of the mind-numbing BS seeping through the hallowed halls of PestWorld business educational sessions. You’re guaranteed to hear some pencil neck, standing in front of a circa 1991 powerpoint presentation, spouting such drivel as, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” 

Or better yet, you’ll hear something like, “Run your business every day like you have to sell it tomorrow”… or is it, “run your business like you’ll never sell it?” Who knows. I guess it depends on who’s talking. Of course, after delivering that line of cheese, the speaker will pause for a second, scan the crowd with that little smirk on his face. In his mind, he’s serving up a platter of profound business wisdom akin to delivering a modern-day version of the Sermon on the Mount. [Read more…]

Rentokil North America Acquires Hudson Valley’s Liberty Pest Control

The Potomac Company today announced the sale of its client, Liberty Pest Control, to Rentokil North America.

Founded in 1959 and operating from Albany, NY to Scranton, PA, Liberty is one of the oldest and largest pest control operations in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Potomac is pleased to have had the opportunity to advise the management and shareholders of Liberty in a competitive, strategic sale process.

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