In March, Anticimex announced its continued U.S. expansion with the acquisition of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Turner Pest Control, a $19.8 million company.
Turner appealed to Anticimex because of its strong brand and commitment to quality service built through a strong management team, Mikael Vinje, president of Anticimex North America, told PCT. Vinje also noted that Turner is very much aligned with Anticimex in terms of growth strategy. “They are extremely focused on growth, but also very disciplined as to which type of growth path they intend to embark upon,” he says. “So, it’s all those factors: a very strong brand; strong local position; and growth mindset established by their team.”
This acquisition also marks Anticimex’s first entry into the all-important Florida market. Vinje said Anticimex’s main focus is investing in Turner’s people and their organic growth initiatives, but he added, “As you know, the Florida market is probably as fragmented as any other market in the U.S., so the opportunity for inorganic growth is as good there as it is anywhere.”
An interesting aspect of this acquisition is that Turner provides lawn care services, which is an almost non-existent Anticimex offering. Vinje believes the company will adapt thanks to its decentralized operating approach. He says he understands lawn care’s importance to the Florida market. “Clearly in a market like Florida, with a different climate and different market dynamics, we do understand that to have long-term success we are going to have to provide top-notch lawn care, and we will make the necessary investments to do that,” he said. “At the same time, it does not mean we are going to be embarking on a strategy to build out a nationwide lawn care business. We are excited that Jacksonville is now our global center of our lawn care operation today and hopefully it will continue to grow.”
Turner Pest Control, established in 1971, has experienced significant growth since 2002 when Ashton Hudson, president and general counsel of Rock Creek Capital and its affiliates, bought into Turner; Hudson has been chairman and majority owner of Turner since 2010. In 2003, Turner Pest Control generated $6.3 million in revenue; in 2017, Turner reported year-end revenues of $19.8 million (a $3 million increase over 2016 when Turner ranked 48th on the PCT Top 100 List.). In 2016, Turner relocated its headquarters to a new building that was close to 20,000 square feet — nearly twice as big as its previous location.
Turner President and CEO Mark Slater, who joined the company in 2004, runs the daily operations. He and the management team area staying on board. “They have a very strong management team, a very clear vision, and very clear objectives they want to achieve as an organization. We support that and hope we can help them reach their goals faster,” said Vinje, who added that Slater has been added to the leadership team of Anticimex in the U.S.
Hudson, chairman and majority owner of Turner, said in a press release, “Anticimex’s core values — trust, innovation and passion — are perfectly aligned with ours and I’m confident that as part of the Anticimex family of companies Turner has the opportunity to accelerate its growth and achieve even greater success. We anticipate tremendous opportunities for both our business and our employees.”
The acquisition of Turner follows on the heels of previous platform acquisitions of American Pest, Modern Pest Services and Viking Pest Control and forms part of a strategy to expand in the U.S. market via organic and inorganic growth. — Brad Harbison