Owner, Las Vegas Pest Control
“Steven Linskey on the PCO M&A Specialists team was great”
Las Vegas Pest Control
Las Vegas, Nev.
“Ensure you have lots of recurring revenue. The one-time stuff isn’t going to come into play. Also, have all your accounting and numbers in place before you even try to start this process.” —Rusty Hedland
PCO M&A Specialists Helps an Owner Ready to Retire Achieve His Goals
Las Vegas Pest Control owner Rusty Hedland is ready for a change. The Air Force veteran is also a veteran pest management professional – having worked in the industry for nearly 30 years at a big pest control company, a mom-and-pop operation and finally for himself for the past 15 years.
“I love pest control. I love customers. It’s an industry that has served me well for 27 years,” says Rusty, a former president of the Nevada Pest Control Association. “It’s not easy; if it was easy everybody would do it. It was time for me to take a break.”
With no successors, it was only natural that he’d sell his business when it came time to retire. He knew he’d reached the time to sell when he wasn’t as excited as he once was about growing the business or taking on challenges like opening new divisions.
“People like to grow, they like to see a company expand and do new things,” Rusty says. “I was at a point where I didn’t want to do that anymore, but I was smart enough to know it wasn’t fair to the people who worked for me not to.”
In early 2020, Rusty reached out to Dan Gordon, managing member of PCO M&A Specialists, a division of PCO Bookkeepers. Other factors that played into his inquiry were the talk of high valuations and potential capital gains tax increases on the horizon.
“It was good timing for me to have someone come in that’s hungry and wants to do even more and give my people more opportunity,” he says.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S., creating uncertainty among buyers in the pest control industry. Rusty put the sale on hold for the short-term and reengaged PCO M&A Specialists in the fall.
“In September/October, Dan said everybody’s getting back to normalcy on purchasing,” he says. “We decided at that time to enter an agreement with Dan and get the ball rolling.”
Rusty’s goals for the sale were to achieve a sufficient financial return and also to getting terms that would be mutually beneficial for him, the new buyer and his team, as well.
The process went smoothly overall, Rusty says, although he notes that he wasn’t prepared for the due diligence process. He says, jokingly, that he put on weight, gaining the “due diligence 10.”
“Steven Linskey on the PCO M&A Specialists team was great and did quite a bit of the legwork on that,” he says, adding it was still a trying 60 days to work with his accountant to access and prepare documents for the buyer. “We had stuff in order, but it was just so much that needed to get done.”
Working with the PCO M&A Specialists’ team, Rusty eventually netted multiple offers. He chose to sell to Certus, which he says was the best fit for all parties involved. The deal closed on April 1.
“I’ve always prided myself on the training and support that I’ve been able to provide our technicians, and I didn’t want to lose that legacy,” he says. “Knowing that Certus will continue this commitment allows me to retire without worry or regret that my team won’t get the same support I provided.”