Owner, Hearts Pest Management
“Dan and PCO M&A Specialists Director Steve Linskey were excellent”
Hearts Pest Management
“You shouldn’t wait until you’re ready sell to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are. You need to be looking at that every day. While you still have the business, speak with Dan and consider putting the accounting side of the business with him. He helps the owner get a good perspective through monthly consulting and reporting, so when they are ready to sell, they’ll be in a better place.” – Gerry Weitz
A Slam Dunk Deal
In 2002, Gerry Weitz, a middle manager who’d been laid off during the dot-com crash, turned a gopher service call at his home into a 19-year long career in pest management.
“In somewhat desperation, I spoke to (the former owner of Hearts Pest Management) for a few hours and suggested a partnership in his company, which wasn’t growing. He said I could just buy it, which was a shock to me but turned out to be great.”
Over the next two decades, Weitz expanded Hearts Pest Management’s reach across Southern California and turned it into a green pest control powerhouse.
The Decision to Sell
At age 66 with a burgeoning interest in starting an online language learning company, Weitz decided in fall 2020 that it was a logical time to think about selling Hearts Pest Management.
External factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and a shifting political climate played a role in his decision, as well. “I was definitely thinking about changes in tax law that might come about,” he says.
Weitz had entertained a few offers to buy his business in the past, but the deals ultimately fell through. He knew he needed to get it right this time, so he turned to Dan Gordon and the team at PCO M&A Specialists.
Weitz had already been working with sister firm PCO Bookkeepers for more than five years, so it was a natural next step to engage this team in the process of selling his business.
Weitz’s priorities for the sale included locating a buyer that would recognize the true value of Hearts Pest Management – not just the client list.
“I wanted to find a company that would value the fact that we have green customized services in a special niche that’s perfect for California,” he says, noting a revenue-generating website and a high-caliber workforce were other assets he wanted to highlight in the sale. “There were a few reasons I wanted my company to be looked at differently than just a client list.”
Weitz knew Gordon understood his position and could help him identify the right buyer. “Dan and PCO M&A Specialists Director Steve Linskey were excellent,” he says. “They did a lot of work setting up the proposal and presenting the business in the best light in a structure where the buyers could see the math and the value and make a decision.”
For his part, Weitz says it was a seamless process, although selling a business is not easy. “There was a lot of work to be done, but Dan and Steve have a good methodology they’ve nailed down. I definitely could not have done it without them.”
Ultimately, Hearts Pest Management had multiple competitive offers to choose from within its desired timeframe of selling by the end of the year. Weitz opted to sell to Orkin and is pleased
with the outcome.
“Dan and Steve know the industry very well,” he says. “I think they did a slam dunk job.”