No End in Sight for Industry’s M&A Activity

Columns - View Point

May 22, 2017

I am not big on New Year’s resolutions but the month of May is always a reflective time of year for me. My birthday is this month so when my big day rolls around I do spend a little time thinking about the years that have come and gone. The months it takes to put together the May issue of PCT are also a time of reflection. As we compile our annual Top 100 List (which ranks the industry’s largest firms), we always look back at how the list has changed year over year. It’s inevitable that Dan Moreland, Brad Harbison and I say to one other, “It’s amazing how many companies were purchased last year.” And every year we think, “This is the year M&A activity is going to slow down. It has to.” Of course it hasn’t yet.

Do you know how long the big-time buying and selling has been going on? Three years? Five years? Ten? I was curious so I flipped through some old Top 100 issues. In May 2004 we featured a chart asking readers if they had been approached in the past three years about selling their business. Fifty-nine percent said they had. That means even in 2001 there was high interest in buying pest management firms! Crazy, right? Who would have predicted 16 years ago that the sustained buying and selling of pest control firms was going to last so long?

Now back to today: This table features an update on the six companies that were on last year’s list but aren’t listed this year because of mergers and acquisitions. I hope this data — and this year’s list and accompanying articles — prove useful to your firm.