Owner, Thomas Pest Control
“You can’t afford not to have them."
Thomas Pest Control
““Even if somebody doesn’t want to sell today but thinks they may in the next two or three years, they need to get started with somebody like PCO Bookkeepers and Dan Gordon, so the process will be much easier when they are ready. Not only is he a good accountant, but he also knows the pest control business and he knows the M&A players.” —Tom Viscount
PCO M&A Specialists Supports Owner Through ‘Grueling Process’
Tom Viscount has been in the pest control industry for more than three decades, first working for someone else and then striking out on his own in 2004 to start Thomas Pest Control.
The company provides traditional pest, bed bug, termite, and mosquito control services, in addition to moisture control and termite prevention offerings for home builders and general contractors.
The Decision to Sell
Although Tom loves the pest business, he says it was the right time to sell due to the industry’s historically high valuations and the toll the pandemic has taken on small business owners like him over the last two years.
“This is the time for me to get out,” he says. “I have a great business, but I’m ready for a break.”
In 2021, Tom became a client of PCO Bookkeepers, an accounting firm that specializes in the pest control industry.
He was happy with his accounting services and got along well with Managing Member Dan Gordon and the team. So when he began contemplating a sale, it made sense to choose PCO Bookkeepers’ sister firm, PCO M&A Specialists, as his broker.
“I’m not that smart, but I’m smart enough to find smart people,” Tom says. “I felt like I had a good relationship with them being my accountant.”
Tom doesn’t beat around the bush when he talks about the experience of selling his business: “It was a very grueling process,” he says. The due diligence phase, especially, required a mountain of data and documentation.
“In my opinion, it was the most thorough forensic accounting you’ve ever seen,” Tom says. “I don’t know how anybody would do it on their own.”
There were several times he was overwhelmed, and he says PCO M&A Specialists Steve Linskey “talked me off the ledge.” Other times the team stepped in to help him track down financial reports the buyer needed, which was doable because, as his accounting firm, they had access to his books.
“They were invaluable,” he says of the PCO M&A Specialists and PCO Bookkeepers teams.
“When I first talked to them, I thought they were a little pricey,” Tom says. “But after going through what I’ve gone through, I realized I should have used them a long time ago. It’s not ‘Can you afford them?’ It’s, ‘You can’t afford to have them.’”
Ultimately, Tom opted to sell Thomas Pest Control to Killingsworth, an Anticimex company, where he’ll stay on as an adviser for at least six months.
“I wanted to make sure all my people were well taken care of,” Tom says of his goals for the sale. “These people have worked their butts off for me and have been loyal to me. Anticimex seemed like a good fit — they’re keeping everybody — and so far it has been good.”