Client Spotlight

andy-julie
Andy and Julie Yant

Owners, PEST Inc.

“Use PCO Bookkeepers as early as possible. It will make things easier for everyone (when selling). Be patient with the process.”

Business Background

COMPANY
P.E.S.T. Inc.

HEADQUARTERS
Goodlettsville, Tenn.

OWNERS
Andy and Julie Yant

FOUNDED
2001

SOLD TO
Anticimex

TRANSACTION DATE
Dec. 2020

Advice

“Use PCO Bookkeepers as early as possible. It will make things easier for everyone (when selling). Be patient with the process.”

—Andy Yant

Eyes on the Prize

Andy and Julie Yant have had their eyes on the prize – selling their business – ever since they founded PEST Inc. in 2001 with $500 and a used truck. They were 26 and 22 and the time.

Their original plan was to build their company for a decade and make it to $1 million. That’s exactly what they did, but they weren’t ready to sell after 10 years, so they’ve reevaluated things every two or three years since, growing their business and family along the way.

The Decision to Sell

In late summer, the Yants realized it was time to consider their circumstances again. They’d had a “phenomenal year” growth-wise, but it came at a cost to their work/life balance.

“This year felt daunting,” says Julie, referring to the complexities of leading a business during the COVID-19 pandemic while also homeschooling their two teenage sons. “We tried to rise to the occasion, but it plugged us in more to the day-to-day (operations), just to make sure everything was running at the top level for our customers and our team.”

The Yants read an article by PCO M&A Specialists Managing Partner Dan Gordon in the August issue of PCT Magazine, where he detailed potential uncertainty in the pest control mergers and acquisitions market. With impending political volatility, would market values drop? And could taxes rise? Coming off a good year, they decided to explore their options.

“Our boys are 13 and 15,” Julie says. “We wanted the few years we have left with them in this household to not have mom and dad be consumed with running a business. It felt like a good time for us as a family to be able to pull back.”

The Yants had a call with Dan, who they’ve also worked with for several years as clients of his firm PCO Bookkeepers. He advised them to stick it out of they planned to stay in business for another 10 to 15 years but to consider selling now if their horizon was only three or four years. They opted to move forward with selling their business.

The Experience

The original timeline didn’t necessarily have them closing by the end of the year, but after the presidential election, they decided to push to get it done in 2020 to avoid potential tax repercussions.

The process started with a deep dive questionnaire from the PCO M&A Specialists team, including Steve Linskey. The Yants provided a slew of information to assemble a board book, which was presented to buyers. Multiple offers came in and Steve helped them carefully consider the pros and cons of each, Andy says. Beyond their financial goals, the Yants sought a deal that was a win for their team members and the buyers, as well. Next came negotiations, due diligence and – finally – closing.

“I couldn’t iimagine doing it all on our own,” Julie says, noting she’s grateful they had well-organized books from working with PCO Bookkeepers for nearly a decade before selling. “That’s helpful on the M&A side.”

The Sale

Ultimately, PEST Inc. was acquired by Waynes Pest Control, an Anticimex company with operations in three states. Andy was familiar with the leadership team at Waynes, which helped the Yants feel at ease with their decision.

“We knew their culture, leadership and how they treated people,” says Andy, who is plugged into the industry and serves on the board for the Tennessee Pest Control Association and the National Pest Management Association. In fact, his industry involvement also helped the process go smoothly because he knew what to expect. “I won’t say it was painless, but I believe it was streamlined as it could be because of our expectations, our history with Dan and the team and their experience.”

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