M&A News

PONCA CITY, Okla. — Rollins strengthened its presence in Oklahoma and Kansas with the acquisition of Ponca City, Okla.-based Parker Pest Control. The deal closed on May 7 and terms were not disclosed.

Parker Pest Control was founded in 1963 by Dick Parker, an Oklahoma State University graduate who later became head entomologist at Pillsbury Mills (Enid, Okla.) and eventually worked for a small pest control company in Enid. His son, Brad Parker, joined Parker Pest Control full-time in the 1970s after two years at Northern Oklahoma College.

While Dick Parker ran the company from its Ponca City headquarters, Brad Parker was busy expanding Parker Pest to new markets, beginning with Tulsa, and later to Stillwater, Enid, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Wichita, Kan.

Brad Parker took the reins from his dad in the late 1990s, running the business from the company’s Ponca City office. Parker Pest Control continued to flourish under Brad Parker’s leadership; the company now employs 18 and has built on its reputation as an outstanding service provider with long-tenured service professionals, including JD Donaldson, who was named PCT’s 2016 Termite Technician of the Year.

Key to Parker’s growth has been its success in the commercial sector. The company developed the P.E.S.T. machine, including protocols and procedures. The machine is an electrostatic duster for applying boric acid powder. “It delivers a super-fine film of boric acid powder that roaches don’t avoid,” Brad Parker said. “Once we proved ourselves, word got around to other restaurants, country clubs, hospitals and health-care facilities, and the business took off.”

Left to right: Orkin’s Mona Crouch, Matt Whiting, Shari D. Jones and Leland Morris; Parker Pest Control’s Brad Parker and Marjorie Parker; Orkin’s James Earl Thomas and Allen Fowler; and Kemp Anderson, Kemp Anderson Consulting.

In addition to running Parker Pest Control, Brad Parker has been an active member of the Oklahoma Pest Control Association and the National Pest Management Association. Observing how the pest control industry has improved its professionalism has been one of Brad Parker’s career highlights, he said. “I can remember attending Oklahoma Pest Control Association meetings in the 1970s and the industry was not all that professional. It seems that in the last 10 to 15 years the industry has really blossomed and become super professional.”

At age 64, Brad Parker had been contemplating his future and keeping tabs of M&A activity in the pest control industry. He decided it was time to sell the firm and began exploring options. Parker said he received multiple offers and decided to sell to Rollins, in part, after consulting with other industry colleagues who had positive experiences selling to Rollins.

Brad Parker said he plans to stay with Parker Pest Control for at least one more year.

Rollins declined to comment for this story.

Kemp Anderson, Kemp Anderson Consulting, represented Parker Pest Control in the transaction. — Brad Harbison


M&A News

Rollins’ HomeTeam Acquires Texas’ Stout Pest Control

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — HomeTeam Pest Defense, a division of Rollins, recently acquired Stout Pest Control of San Antonio, Texas.

Stout Pest Control was founded in 1989 by Russell Stout, who formerly worked in the West Texas oil fields. Russell, along with wife Linda — whose primary responsibilities were managing the back office (payroll, taxes, etc.), while also working full time as a flight attendant — built the business from scratch. Stout Pest Control found its niche providing WDI inspections and treatments; Russell Stout became a trusted name among San Antonio real estate professionals.

“One of things people appreciate about Russell is that he can be so calming with real estate transactions, which can sometimes be volatile,” said Linda Stout. “Realtors appreciated that, so that whenever he did find carpenter ants or termites he was able to put clients at ease, so that would not blow the deal. Realtors knew he would do a good inspection and reassure customers that even if something was found we could still do the deal.”

Stout Pest Control’s success in the WDI sector helped the company build its pest control customer base. Stout grew to employ six service professionals, servicing Kendall and Boerne counties — areas within a 75-mile radius of San Antonio.

Linda Stout said they decided to sell so that Russell could enjoy retirement.

Paul Giannamore of The Potomac Company acted as exclusive adviser to Stout Pest Control. — Brad Harbison


M&A News

Rentokil Steritech Acquires New Mexico Pest Control, Hitmen Termite & Pest Control

READING, Pa. — Rentokil Steritech announced in April it finalized deals to acquire The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control, a San Francisco Bay area firm — and Santa Fe, N.M.-based New Mexico Pest Control (NMPC).

The Hitmen acquisition expands Rentokil Steritech’s footprint in the Northern California market, increasing service density in an area where the company already has a strong presence, the firm said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Hitmen Termite Company was founded as a four-person firm in 1978 and ran as a small successful termite company until 1993. In 1993, John Merritt purchased The Hitmen; co-owner Mike English invested in the business shortly after and both added the pest control division, thus creating The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control. Together, Merritt and English have built a thriving operation in the Northern California market. Today, The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control operates three offices that serve more than 10,000 customers in the Bay Area, with a strong presence in Sonoma and Napa Counties.

“Northern California’s booming population is driving growth in the local market for commercial pest management. We’re pleased to bring The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control on board to help serve customers in the area,” said John Myers, president and CEO, Rentokil North America. “John and Mike have built an incredible organization with a track record for high-quality service. Bringing their team into the Rentokil Steritech family will augment our service abilities and help us meet growing demand in the area.”

Merritt commented, “We are excited to join the Rentokil Steritech family of pest control experts and look forward to working closely with them to integrate our expert team into their operations.”

This acquisition adds 120 full-time employees to the Rentokil Steritech staff.

The New Mexico Pest Control acquisition further expands Rentokil Steritech’s presence in the Southwestern U.S. market. Terms of this deal also were not disclosed.

Established in 1945, and acquired in 1985 by Charles “Chuck” Simko Jr., a member and former president of the New Mexico Pest Management Association, NMPC has a built a reputation as a provider of outstanding customer service to homeowners and businesses in northern New Mexico. NMPC currently serves customers in the Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos markets.

“The addition of NMPC’s local market leadership to our growing family of experts further enhances our ability to serve both residential and commercial customers in the Southwest,” Myers said. “Chuck and his team share our high-level commitment to customer experience and world-class pest control services and we are thrilled to have them join our team.”

New Mexico Pest Control President Simko added, “The NMPC team is proud to join the well-established Rentokil Steritech brand and I look forward to working closely with their local team during the transition period to best serve our customers throughout the region.”

PCO M&A Specialists (a division of PCO Bookkeepers) acted as exclusive financial adviser to New Mexico Pest Control.


Bayer Closes Monsanto Acquisition

LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto in June. Shares in the U.S. company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company. Monsanto shareholders are being paid $128 (U.S.) per share. J.P. Morgan assisted Bayer with processing the purchase price payment for the largest acquisition in the company’s history. According to the conditional approval from the United States Department of Justice, the integration of Monsanto into Bayer can take place as soon as the divestments to BASF have been completed. This integration process is expected to commence in approximately two months.

“Today is a great day: for our customers — farmers around the world whom we will be able to help secure and improve their harvests even better; for our shareholders, because this transaction has the potential to create significant value; and for consumers and broader society, because we will be even better placed to help the world’s farmers grow more healthy and affordable food in a sustainable manner. As a leading innovation engine in agriculture, we offer employees around the world attractive jobs and development opportunities,” said Werner Baumann, chairman of the Bayer Board of Management. “Our sustainability targets are as important to us as our financial targets. We aim to live up to the heightened responsibility that a leadership position in agriculture entails and to deepen our dialogue with society.”

“Today’s closing represents an important milestone toward the vision of creating a leading agricultural company, supporting growers in their efforts to be more productive and sustainable for the benefit of our planet and consumers,” said Hugh Grant, outgoing chairman and CEO of Monsanto. “I am proud of the path we have paved as Monsanto and look forward to the combined company helping move modern agriculture forward.”

Liam Condon, member of the Bayer board of management, will lead the combined Crop Science Division when the integration commences. Until that time, Monsanto will operate independently from Bayer.

Jay Besheer Approaching 50-Year Anniversary at Gunter Pest & Lawn

Besheer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jay Gunter Besheer, president of Kansas City-based Gunter Pest & Lawn, is approaching his 50-year work anniversary with the family-owned firm.

Besheer is the grandson of Reggie Gunter, longtime owner of Gunter, and he began working for the company when he was only 13.

Gunter has been operating in Kansas City since 1950. Besheer officially started working at Gunter in 1969, but in the early 1960s he spent his childhood and teenage summers alongside his grandfather and his employees, often entertaining homeowners as the service was performed. “I spent many a Saturday afternoon riding along with my grandfather as he exterminated homes,” Besheer recalled. “We had a great routine. He would introduce himself, then introduce me, then proceed to say, ‘Jay, tell the nice lady what you want to do when you grow up.’ I would say, ‘I’m gonna be a bugman, just like my grandpa.’”

Reggie Gunter transitioned the business to Jay’s father, Norman O. Besheer, who left his career in law to join Gunter. Norman Besheer became president upon Reggie’s death in 1979, and he still works for Gunter as CEO (at age 89).

After graduating from the University of Missouri in 1977, Jay Besheer joined the company full time. “When I graduated, I dove head first into the job I had always known to be my dream job. I have always felt lucky to have known what I wanted to do with my adult life at such an early age,” he said.

Under the leadership of Norman Besheer, and later Jay Besheer, Gunter Pest & Lawn has achieved many impressive company milestones. In 2001, Gunter acquired A&L Pest Control; A&L was one of the premier pest management firms in the Greater Kansas City area, with more than 20,000 clients at the time of the merger. The merger of A&L and Gunter Pest formed one of the largest pest management firms in the Midwest. Other purchases throughout the years included Cleartox Termite Control; Johnson & Johnson Pest Control; Beaman Pest Control; Allied Exterminators; Woodbury Pest Control (St. Joseph); and Power Pest Control (St. Joseph).

As of 2018, Gunter had more than 27 employees and more than 100,000 clients. The company prides itself on using the latest technology and putting customers first, Besheer said. — Brad Harbison


PelGar Receives United Kingdom Enterprise Award

HAMPSHIRE, UK — PelGar International announced that it won the “Best Global Pest Control Products Provider 2018” in the UK Enterprise Awards program. Run by SME News magazine since 2016, the awards strive to recognize and highlight the key players and enterprises within the UK business scene and award those who thrive amongst competition.

PelGar’s Marketing Manager Anna Wilson-Barnes commented, “Small and medium size businesses are often overlooked for recognition, despite the achievements made every day. To be nominated by our peers for this award is a statement in itself, as we all work together to achieve that success on the national and international stage. It is a fantastic recognition of the hard work and commitment from the whole PelGar team and we are very proud to receive this award.”

Owned by AI Global Media, an international provider of corporate news and information, SME News draws on a network of industry insiders to provide news, features and deals from across the small to medium enterprise landscape in the UK.


NPMA Welcomes Utah Pest Management Association

FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association announced the formation of the Utah Pest Management Association (UPMA).

“Utah’s pest management industry is comprised of 1,466 companies employing 5,873 registered technicians and countless support staff. Utah’s pest management industry plays a vital role in safeguarding public health, and protecting Utah’s businesses, while also generating jobs and bolstering our overall economy,” said Andrew Richardson, CEO of Edge Pest Control and president of UPMA.

As part of the state association’s mission, UPMA will provide local and regional PMPs with the tools needed to effectively grow their business, comply with state and federal regulations, and keep up-to-date with the latest integrated pest management practices. The association’s public policy advocacy will ensure that state and federal legislators understand the concerns and issues for Utah’s PMPs.

“As a joint state partner, members of UPMA are granted access to NPMA’s premier industry leaders, training, business development courses and many other resources,” said Dominique Stumpf, CEO of NPMA.

For more information visit www.utahpest.org.