Pest Control M&A Weekly Commentary – June 4, 2018 – A Visit to Anticimex’s Stockholm

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In this week’s commentary, we’ll be discussing:

  • Skadedjursbekämpning is Swedish for Pest Control: A Visit to Anticimex in Stockholm
  • Potomac Announces the Sale of Stout Pest to HomeTeam, Our Ninth Transaction of the Year

Skadedjursbekämpning is Swedish for Pest Control: A Visit to Anticimex in Stockholm

If Fosters is Australian for beer (yes, I know our Australian friends are having a fit).

And Fahrvergnügen is “the joy of driving…”

Then Skadedjursbekämpning is Swedish for pest control. Actually, that’s exactly what that mouthful means, it’s “pest control” in Swedish, and I got an earful of it last week.

After meeting with Spanish pest control companies in Madrid on Monday, I made my second voyage to Stockholm for meetings and the visit coincided with Anticimex’s semiannual global managers meeting (more on that a little later). The primary purpose of my visit was to meet with Anticimex on behalf of some of our American and European clients.

This week’s edition of the market commentary is light on M&A and the market and heavy on photos…due to extensive travel I didn’t have much time to write.

It Looks Like an IKEA in Here

The first time I met with Anticimex on their home turf was early last year when Scott Stevenson and I took the journey to meet with senior management and EQT, the private equity owners of Anticimex. We were in the process of selling Modern Pest Services and prior to pulling the trigger, we wanted to come over and meet with the owners of Anticimex.

On our first visit last year, we spent some time at Anticimex’s Swedish headquarters.

Although I tried to avoid taking photos of the people working in the office, you’ll see that they are dressed quite well and they are not 400 pounds, unlike just about everyone in the state of Mississippi.

I think if you look hard enough, you might even see some people in the background putting together the furniture.

Overall, Anticimex’s Swedish offices were relaxing and looked more like an ad agency’s office than a pest control firm’s. For all I know, it could have been an ad agency and they just slapped that Anticimex sticker on the front door right before we showed up…

Back to the Future

Fast forward to last week and we spent a lot more time outdoors with the wonderful late May weather in Sweden.

The last evening there, I got the opportunity to spend some time with some awesome Potomac clients.

Andrew Rogers (below, left), the head of Killingsworth Environmental and I had the opportunity to celebrate the Anticimex / Killingsworth transaction. Andrew and I, along with the rest of the Killingsworth management team, spent months in the trenches on that deal, so it was great to celebrate with Andrew on his first trip to Europe. As the head of Anticimex’s latest US platform acquisition, he took the trip over to Stockholm for the Company’s semiannual managers meeting.

I also got the opportunity to spend some quality time with a some old friends who now make up the heads of Anticimex’s four largest platforms (below, left to right, Ryan Bradbury, Viking Pest Control, David Billingsly, American Pest Control, Scott Stevenson, Modern Pest Control, Paul Giannamore, Potomac, and Andrew Rogers, Killingsworth Environmental). I am thrilled to see what some of our former clients have been up to.

Millions of dollars of deals were done over drinks…

As for the food, I feel as though Stockholm is underrated, in a similar way Philadelphia is an underrated food city. I’ve eaten Swedish meatballs twice in my life and both times I ate them I was in Stockholm… and both times I was impressed.

Below is a simple Swedish meatball lunch that I was served at the hotel restaurant… it was fantastic.

If you get the opportunity to visit Stockholm, make sure you do it in the summer.

In next week’s commentary I’ll get back to real business.


HomeTeam Pest Defense Acquires Stout Pest Control of San Antonio

We are pleased to announce our ninth pest control transaction of the year.

HomeTeam Pest Defense, a division of Rollins (NYSE: ROL), has acquired Stout Pest Control of San Antonio, TX.

Founded in 1989 by Russell Stout, the Company focuses on providing pest and termite control services to the residential market in San Antonio metro. Russell and his wife Linda will be retiring and all of the Stout employees will be joining HomeTeam’s San Antonio operations.

Paul Giannamore, managing director at Potomac said: “I’m very happy for Russell and Linda as well as the whole Stout organization. They’ve built a great business and I am glad to see that they will be able to unlock the value through this transaction. They were wonderful to work with and I will always consider them personal friends.”

Linda Stout, co-owner, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Paul. He came highly recommended and lived up to and exceeded our expectations. His knowledge of the process and patience with us was a true blessing. He was professional and considerate during all aspects of the process. We have sold other businesses but this is the first time we’ve used an advisor. Paul walked us through every step, alleviated our fears when issues arose and gave us the attention and support needed. We knew we were a very small acquisition compared to the mega multi-million dollar acquisitions he normally works with, but Paul always made us feel like our transaction was just as important.”

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About Paul Giannamore

Managing Director at The Potomac Company where I head the firm's strategy consulting and investment banking practice focused on the structural pest control and integrated facilities services industries. I write the Pest Control M&A Weekly Commentary and The Potomac Pest Control Executive, newsletters read by thousands pest control professionals in scores of countries (you can subscribe to it below). In a nutshell, I do two things: (1) advise shareholders and senior management of pest management firms on creating value in their businesses, (2) advise sellers on the sale of their businesses. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, I'm a graduate of Cornell University, and I speak Italian, Spanish, Arabic and broken French. Join me on LinkedIn