Owner, Pestmasters Termite and Pest Control
“It was a long, arduous process, but they made it as easy as they possibly could"
PestMasters Termite & Pest Control
“Even if you’re not planning to sell, keep your records as if you are. I like things to be tidy and I like having good records. Everything they asked me to get my fingers on I was able to get. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be if you couldn’t do that.”
A Successful Sale in Richmond, VA.
Dave Boose and his fatherin-law, Steve Manley, bought PestMasters in 1981. At the time it was called Algo Exterminating. Dave entered the industry in 1968 as a service technician with Terminix. As he grew within the industry, he eventually took a position as a regional manager with Rentokil but had a young family and was looking to travel less.
“We heard about a company for sale in Richmond, Va.,” he recalls. “It had a nice termite renewal business and we felt like we could grow the company.”
And they did. Steve retired 20 years ago, and Dave stayed busy with PestMasters, also taking on plenty of responsibilities in leadership and legislative affairs at the Virginia Pest Management Association. Dave also served on the board of the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia. “I got to know a lot of businesspeople in Richmond, and things blossomed,” he says.
The Decision to Sell – Over the past five years, Dave thought about retirement—not because he wanted to retire—but because he was reaching retirement age and didn’t have a family successor in the business. “I knew I had to do something,” he says. “I didn’t want to have something happen to me and to dump this thing in my wife’s lap. That, combined with the valuations in the industry getting higher, made me decide it was time to start the process.”
After years of contemplation, Dave engaged Dan Gordon and his firm PCO M&A Specialists (Div. of PCO Bookkeepers), whom he knew through a mutual friend in the industry. The two had several phone conversations going back a year or so, and Dave signed on with PCO M&A Specialists, in February of 2019.
“I knew it was going to take the better part of nine months and be a grueling process, mentally and physically,” says the soon-to-be 70-year-old. “I thought, ‘I better do this while I still can.’”
The Sell – First, Dan quizzed Dave about his wishes. “He knew my financial goals and also my concerns about my employees and customers, and he knew I wanted a good cultural fit,” Dave says. Next came the information-gathering phase, which was tough because it had to be done in secret, after hours.
When it was finally time to put the firm on the market, the PCO M&A Specialist team got Dave multiple offers within days. And Dan and his team really showed their value by significantly driving up the price and handling the due diligence process, which can be very grueling. The best offer came from the company he would have picked had he been given the choice. “It’s a pretty seamless fit,” he says.
The Experience – “I had more than monetary goals when it came to selling my company,” Dave says. “As it turned out, I was able to meet and exceed all of those goals. I don’t think I would have been able to do that with anybody else as my adviser. Dan and his team at PCO M&A Specialists are absolutely phenomenal.”
In fact, Dave says in hindsight he would have enlisted Dan’s accounting firm, PCO Bookkeepers, earlier to make the process that much easier and organized when it came time to sell.