MGK Sells Majority Interest to Sumitomo Chemical of Japan
Minneapolis, Minn. — MGK announced that it has sold a majority interest in the company to Sumitomo Chemical of Tokyo, Japan, a longtime shareholder and partner.
Founded in 1902, MGK has partnered with Sumitomo Chemical, a multinational chemical firm that does work with basic chemicals, petrochemicals and life sciences since the 1970s. Sumitomo Chemical first became an MGK shareholder in 1989.
This current transaction, a stock purchase between Sumitomo Chemical and the Gullickson family, further solidifies this long-term partnership between the organizations, the firm said. “MGK has been a growing and profitable venture for many years, and Sumitomo Chemical’s increased participation gives us continued access to new chemistries and new technologies for insect control,” said MGK President Steve Gullickson.
Gullickson said MGK will remain focused on its core business strategies under Sumitomo Chemical. “They are raising their investment because of our team’s success. We anticipate that our enhanced partnership will better position MGK to make life healthier by creating responsible products that protect people and their environments from the impact of insects.”
“We’re pleased that Mr. Gullickson has agreed to continue to serve MGK in his current role. He has led his company to strong growth in the past decade, and we look forward to his continued leadership,” said Ryo Sato, executive officer of Sumitomo Chemical.
The Gullickson family, majority shareholder for four generations, remains a minority shareholder in MGK, and is optimistic about future prospects for the company.
MGK, one of the first companies to commercially develop naturally derived pyrethrum into insecticide, becomes a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical. MGK and its subsidiaries employ 250 people at its facilities in North America, Europe, Africa and Australia.
To learn more about MGK, which was founded in 1902, visit www.mgk.com. MGK sells insect control products into consumer home and pet products, professional pest control, animal health and other markets. MGK is a leader in the development and distribution of a wide range of insect control technologies. MGK holds 253 product registrations with the U.S. EPA for insect control products and sells its products into more than 60 countries.
Sumitomo Chemical (www.sumitomo-chem.co.jp/english/) is one of Japan’s leading chemical companies, offering a diverse range of products globally in the fields of basic chemicals, petrochemicals, IT-related chemicals and materials, health and crop science products, and pharmaceuticals. The company’s consolidated net sales for fiscal 2011 were 1.95 trillion yen, or U.S. $23.7 billion.
Bob Rosenberg Tapped to Lead NPMA
Fairfax, Va. — The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) announced the appointment of Bob Rosenberg to the position of executive vice president, effective immediately. Rosenberg had been named as the organization’s acting leader in October following the resignation of Rob Lederer who served at the helm of the association for 17 years. The announcement comes following a unanimous vote of NPMA’s Board of Directors in December.
NPMA President Laura Simpson, highlighting Rosenberg’s career and several decades of experience with the association, said, “We are thrilled that Bob has agreed to serve as our executive vice president in the years ahead. His experience, knowledge and leadership will ensure NPMA is best poised to meet the needs of the industry as the association begins its 80th year of service. We look forward to embarking on a new era of a transparent, member-focused organization that consistently responds to the needs of 21st century pest management professionals.”
Rosenberg shared his enthusiasm for the new position. “I look forward to working with the board and the rest of the staff in renewed and expanded efforts to educate, protect and grow the pest management industry,” he said. He thanked the board for offering him “the privilege of working with industry professionals in a more strategic and visionary capacity.”
Rosenberg’s career with the National Pest Management Association has focused on advocating for the professional pest management industry’s interests with federal, state and local government. Rosenberg has served on numerous federal, state and industry boards and committees.
Feb. 12-13: NPMA Southern Conference, Harrah’s Hotel & Casino, Tunica, Miss. Contact: NPMA, 703/352-6762 or visit www.npmapestworld.org.
Spencer Pest, Nine Others Raise Money to Cure Cancer
Roswell, Ga. — Spencer Pest Services, with its Pest Control for a Cure program, is just one of 10 local Georgia businesses that recently joined forces to raise money to cure cancer. The group, Stick It 2 Cancer, was formed by Atlanta-area In-Depth Wraps owners Torri and John Westmoreland after John was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In-Depth Wraps, Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of Cumming, Bodyplex Fitness, Brandywine Printing, CPR Momma, jTech Networks, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Rooter Plus, Somedia Solutions and Spencer Pest Services have worked together to host fundraisers to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Stick It 2 Cancer expects to raise more than $110,000 this year.
Knockout Pest Control Offers Aid to Long Beach
Mineola, N.Y. — Nassau County legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) announced that Knockout Pest Control, Uniondale, N.Y., will offer pest management to residents of Long Beach that have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Abrahams applauded Arthur Katz, president of Knockout, for his effort to “step up” in a time of need to help people in Long Beach recover. Knockout will offer free pest management services up to $100,000 for a specified time for Long Beach properties affected by the storm.
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“Following the catastrophic flooding that we had, ensuring our city’s safety is critical, and we are extremely grateful for folks like Arthur who are helping to take the financial burden off our residents,” added Jack Shnirman, Long Beach city manager.
“The employees of Knockout are eager to step up to help residents and commercial property owners of Long Beach in order to avoid unnecessary ill health effects from rodents and vermin,” Katz said. “We are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow Long Island residents.”
FMC Helps High Schools Stay Free of Fire Ants
Philadelphia — FMC Professional Solutions recently helped five local high schools stay fire ant free during football season after giving away several bags of its Talstar XTRA insecticide.
Each of the five schools won 10 bags of Talstar XTRA, featuring FMC’s Verge technology, a new product that offers fast elimination of fire ant mounds and season-long protection, FMC said.
“Football and fire ants don’t mix,” said Adam Manwarren, turf and ornamental product manager for FMC. “But before Talstar XTRA, there was no quick way to get rid of mounds before a game. Now, sports turf professionals can eliminate mounds within 15 minutes and enjoy season-long control through broadcast treatments.”
Talstar XTRA is not a restricted-use product, so any grounds professional can apply it, and the insecticide is on many state “approved products” lists, FMC reports.
The following schools won the contest:
- Suwannee High School, McAlpin, Fla., courtesy of Live Oak Pest Control
- Keller Independent School District, Keller, Texas
- Richard J. Reynolds High School, Winston-Salem, N.C.
- Oviedo High School, Oviedo, Fla., courtesy of Massey Services
- Leon County Schools, Jacksonville, Fla., courtesy of McCall Service
|Comings & Goings
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Terminix announced two new appointments to its leadership team in October. Andy Symons joined the company as director of business development and Michele Vance joined the company as vice president of commercial sales. Symons will lead growth initiatives in the United States and internationally, and Vance will manage commercial growth expansion efforts as well as recruitment, Terminix said.
Phillip Burkett joined Bell Laboratories as a technical sales representative for the north central United States.
The Tennessee Pest Control Association awarded Drew Lockhart of Central Life Sciences its Lifetime Achievement Award for his work and dedication to the pest control industry. Lockhart is the National Account Manager for the Zoëcon Professional Products Division, where he is responsible for Central Life Sciences’ professional pest management and vector markets.
Joseph W. Scheffler, NaturZone Pest Control, Tampa Bay, Fla., was recently certified as an associate certified entomologist (ACE) by the Entomological Society of America.
Kevin Kordek, owner, A-Active Termite and Pest Control Company, Virginia Beach, Va., was named to the Virginia Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services by Governor Bob McDonnell.
Karen DeChristopher received Parsippany, N.J.-based Western Pest Services’ second annual Women of Distinction Award. DeChristopher, who serves as marketing administrator for the company’s Fumigation Division, has been with the company for more than 18 years.
Danielle Boeras was appointed customer service representative at Macy’s Termite and Pest Control, North Venice, Fla.
Truly Nolen named Mike Tanner as western regional sales manager.
James Whitaker was promoted to district manager of Heron Pest Control, Apopka, Fla.
Peter Ozorio, Crane Pest Control, San Francisco, Calif., earned his BCE credentials.
Stephen Gates was appointed vice president of technical services at Cook’s Pest Control, Decatur, Ala. Gates, BCE, is a 14-year veteran of Cook’s and holds a degree in entomology from Auburn University.
Reliable Pest Control, Toronto, Canada, announced Susan Costello has been hired as the firm’s new business development manager.
BASF Completes Acquisition of Becker Underwood
Ludwigshafen, Germany — BASF has completed the acquisition of Becker Underwood for the purchase price of $1.02 billion. With the acquisition, BASF said it is now a leading global provider of technologies for biological seed treatment as well as seed treatment colorants and polymers. The company also has expanded its product portfolio in the areas of biological crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape colorants and coatings.
“The acquisition fits very well with our long-term growth strategy,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, a member of BASF’s board of executive directors responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment and research executive director. “It will provide our customers with an even broader range of innovative solutions for agriculture. And it also provides our new colleagues with access to BASF’s global R&D platform as well as new markets and customers.”
In the coming months, a detailed integration plan will be developed by a joint team of BASF and Becker Underwood employees. Most business of Becker Underwood will join the newly established global business unit Functional Crop Care as part of BASF’s Crop Protection division. With this new unit, BASF said it will merge its existing research, development and marketing activities in the areas of seed treatment, biological crop protection, plant health, as well as water and resource management with those of Becker Underwood. Becker Underwood’s animal nutrition business will be integrated into BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.
The newly formed global Functional Crop Care unit was made effective Jan. 1, 2013, and is headed by Dr. Jürgen Huff, senior vice president.
Dr. Peter Innes, CEO of Becker Underwood, accepted the position of global senior advisor to the Crop Protection division. He will support the integration of Becker Underwood into BASF and the implementation of the Functional Crop Care unit.
In 2011, BASF’s Crop Protection division reported sales of around $5.5 billion and was expecting another record year in 2012, the company said.
Report Finds Generics Impacting U.S. Turf and Ornamental Market
Parsippany, N.J. — With estimated 2011 sales of $1.4 billion at the manufacturers’ level, the U.S. turf and ornamental pesticides and fertilizers market began to experience some firmness, according to the recently released Professional Turf and Ornamental Markets for Pesticides and Fertilizers: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities report published by global consulting and research firm Kline & Company.
Fertilizers remain the largest product category, accounting for more than 43 percent of total sales in 2011, with herbicides ranking second at a little more than 26 percent, followed by fungicides with almost 16 percent of the total, according to the report.
Golf courses, with sales estimated at near $440 million in 2011, represent the largest end-use segment among those covered by the study. Lawn care operators rank second largest with a near 28 percent share of sales, dropping five percentage points over the last few years. “Lawn care professionals and landscapers have suffered, and some have left the business due to difficult economic conditions,” said Dennis Fugate, industry manager of Kline’s Specialty Pesticides consulting practice. “The market obviously depends on housing and people’s confidence in the employment picture, and these indicators have not bounced back as quickly as most experts predicted in 2008 and 2009. However, the decline in the overall market value has also been exacerbated due to continuing pressure from generic suppliers of all chemical categories.”
Supplying the turf and ornamental market, the big basics continue to hold a strong share, claiming 50 percent of the market, the report found. However, this share is down an estimated 15 percent over the last five years as mainly second-tier basics or aggressive generic companies have gained share.
“The big basics are continuing to adapt their newly commercialized actives for the turf and ornamental market while protecting their mature brands as strongly as possible,” said Fugate. “Despite this, the top five basics manufacturers have lost significant market share as savvy new or second-tier players using generic versions of long-time proven actives have quickly created profitable and relatively high-profile businesses.”
Due to highly competitive generic actives pricing and strong marketing efforts, the market is being devalued as cost-conscious end users in lawn care, golf and ornamentals take advantage of the cost savings, according to Kline. This approach has led to rapid product proliferation in all categories, but especially in golf course fungicides where the number of different products used by surveyed golf course respondents has doubled since 2006.
While product offerings in other categories, such as herbicides and insecticides, have about tripled, the number of product applications has remained relatively steady, the report said.
Syngenta consolidated its sales leadership position with the recent acquisition of DuPont’s turf and ornamentals insecticide business. Bayer, BASF and Dow round out the top four players, with relative newcomer John Deere (formerly Lesco) emerging strongly with the sector’s fifth largest market share, according to Kline.
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Orkin acquired Partner’s Pest Control of the Valley, Hemet, Calif. Partner’s was founded in 1992 by Dean and Suzie Guillen. “The Guillens have a well-run business, and we welcome all of Partner’s well-tenured employees and customers,” said Bob Hines, director of acquisitions for Orkin. Dean Guillen plans to leave the pest control industry to teach physics.
Sprague Pest Solutions, Tacoma, Wash., acquired Golden Services, a pest control firm based in Golden, Colo. The acquisition broadens Sprague’s footprint in Colorado following its 2011 acquisition of Denver-based EnviroPest. Golden Services will be folded into Sprague’s EnviroPest operations and will strengthen the company’s offerings in the state, Sprague said.
Massey Services, Orlando, Fla., acquired GreenFrog Services, a pest management firm headquartered in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. GreenFrog specializes in residential and commercial pest and termite services, and the acquisition enhances Massey’s presence in the Jacksonville market, Massey said.
Arrow Environmental Services, Sarasota, Fla., has made eight acquisitions throughout the past several months. The most recent purchase was Can Eliminate Pest Control, Fort Myers, Fla. Arrow said it is focused on smoothly integrating its acquisitions through “intensive training and a shared commitment to quality customer service.”
Sri Lanka-based Exterminators won a SLIM brand excellence award for the third year in a row. The company was presented the award in October. Since 2008, Exterminators has won 18 awards in several categories, the company said.
Hearts Pest Management, San Diego, Calif., joined the U.S. EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP). In doing so, Hearts has pledged that environmental stewardship is an integral part of its services. “We are thrilled to be a member of PESP and to partner with the EPA to promote environmentally responsible pest management,” said Hearts President Gerry Weitz.
Atlanta’s Arrow Exterminators acquired Norton Exterminating, a full-service company based in northern Georgia. Emily Thomas Kendrick, president and CEO of Arrow, said that this acquisition will allow Arrow to fully service the market in northern Georgia. Reggie and Penny Norton, owners of Norton, said they were proud to become a part of the Arrow family.
Heron Lawn and Pest Control, Orlando, Fla., recently recognized its 2012 Outstanding Service Award Winners. These individuals were honored for their leadership and for going above and beyond in their positions: Top Sales Award, Greg Wells; Top Service Technician Award, Carolyn Wyatt; Top Administrative Award, Alison Grether; and Heron Award (Employee of Year), Mike Murphy.