Owner, Hersh Exterminating Service
“PCO M&A Specialists was absolutely the right choice.”
Hersh Exterminating Service
“I certainly suggest to anyone contemplating a sale that they use PCO Bookkeepers for accounting. It made our due diligence relatively simple and forthcoming. Besides, it was valuable to have industry-specific accountants.” —Dave Hersh
Seller Seeking Stability Achieves His Goals with Help of PCO M&A Specialists
Hersh Exterminating Service was founded in 1946 by Dave Hersh’s parents, Martin and Ruth Hersh. Dave joined the business right after college in 1972, rather than attending law school.
“I never felt the world was worse off with one less lawyer,” he says, joking. Dave took the helm of the company in the early 1980s after his father passed away. It wasn’t an ideal succession by any means, but the company endured, eventually serving mostly residential customers across a seven-county area in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. “Taking good care of our customers is what kept us growing for all those years.”
The Decision to Sell
With no more successors in the family, Dave began considering selling the company several years ago. He called Dan Gordon, managing member of PCO M&A Specialists for a valuation. Around that time, he signed on to be a client of PCO Bookkeepers, Dan’s pest control accounting firm.
With the guidance of Dan and his team, Hersh began ramping up the amount of the company’s recurring revenue a few years ahead of the sale.
“(PCO M&A Specialists) let us know that’s a big part of acquirers’ interest,” Dave says. “If you have time to prepare, certainly you want to move the company in that direction.”
Like most people selling a business, Dave knew he needed to net enough financially to ensure a stable retirement. He also sought stability for his long-time staff.
“Like every family business owner, this is our baby, so I probably think it’s worth more than it is, but I’m certainly not dissatisfied with what we got,” he says. “The buyers have signed on all my employees, so that made me more comfortable.”
Hersh reengaged PCO M&A Specialists last fall, but with delays on other deals due to the pandemic, it was early 2021 before they moved forward. The process took about three months start to finish, including preparation, going to market, fielding offers and doing due diligence.
Although there were some unforeseen circumstances that popped up just ahead of the close date, the PCO M&A Specialists team made it happen.
“They got it done,” Hersh says. “Because they were doing our accounting and had access to our software, it made the process go a lot quicker than it would have had we not been with them for accounting. And it would have been impossible for me to have gone through due diligence and keep the sale quiet, as is required, without them having that access. I’m not aware of other organizations who can provide that. That, to me, was paramount in making the process relatively smooth sailing.”
Ultimately, Hersh Exterminating Service received several offers. Dave decided to sell to Orkin, and the deal closed in mid-April.
“The key to their investment being worthwhile is happy customers, and the key to happy customers is happy staff, and so far they’ve lived up to my expectations,” Dave says of working with the buyer as he transitions out of the business. “I’m thrilled for us. PCO M&A Specialists was absolutely the right choice. The deal would not have gone through without us having used them both for accounting and M&A.”