Acquisition Case Study: A-Active

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Acquisition case study: A-Active

Name of business acquired: A-Active Termite & Pest Control Company

Country: USA

Date acquired: February 2014

About A-Active

A-Active was a 47-year-old pest control business that services throughout the southeast portion of the state of Virginia USA. The company was acquired by husband and wife Kevin and Mary Beth Kordek in 1995 when it had only eight employees. Under their leadership, the company grew substantially reaching 40 employees by 2014. The company has always put a real emphasis on residential termite and pest control services and is the market leader in their area.

In addition, the business was a respected member of the community, having been honoured as: Best Place to Work in the state of Virginia; Small business of the Year, plus numerous other accolades from their peers in the community.

Why did Rentokil Initial pursue the acquisition of A-Active?

Prior to the acquisition, Rentokil did not service this portion of Virginia. A-Active was the leading independent pest control company in their market and had a great reputation. Kevin and Mary Beth fostered a culture of teamwork, pride in the service and a real emphasis on taking great care of the customers by providing world class service. This fit in perfectly with what Rentokil was looking for in an acquisition candidate.

How was the deal reached?

Kevin and Mary Beth Kordek: “A quick transaction — we met with Rentokil in early December 2013 and the transaction was closed on February 1, 2014. This is testament to the willingness and ability of the Rentokil M&A team to close a deal in a quick yet professional manner.”

Why did A-Active choose Rentokil Initial?

Kevin and Mary Beth Kordek: “We met with all of the big players in the North American Pest Control M&A arena; and made the decision to sell to Rentokil for the following reasons:

"Reputation — The Rentokil leadership team have an impeccable reputation from other sellers, colleagues and customers. We were concerned for our employees and customers but felt that Rentokil had the same level of care and concern that we did.

"Culture — It was clear from our very first meeting that the Rentokil culture regarding colleagues and customers was consistent with our beliefs and business practices. During all discussions leading up to the sale, the Rentokil team stressed the importance of people in the business. I am the first to attest that Rentokil has lived up to our expectations. People are the cornerstone of any transaction.

"Vision — We always had a vision that Pest Management Services could be offered in a new and exciting way. This vision included seeing the company through the eyes of both employees and customers and allowed us to achieve high retention rates for each. The acquisition of A-Active by Rentokil is proof that both family-business and big-business values, beliefs and vision can combine to create a better company for all.”

How has the business performed since the acquisition?

Kevin and Mary Beth Kordek: “We are extremely pleased with the post-sale relationship and continue to be active ambassadors for the Rentokil family. Selling our family business to Rentokil is one of the best business decisions we have made and it has proved better than expected.

This is highlighted by the fact that now over a year post transaction, there has been no increase in the great rates of low employee turnover or client cancellations. Further, service quality remains as high as ever. This is a true testament to the cultural compatibility of the two companies and honours our legacy in the pest management industry.”

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