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Archive for October, 2007

Sunair: Exterminating Value?

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Does it ever make sense to take stock instead of cash when selling your company? For as long as the public equity markets have existed, public companies have used their stock as currency to make acquisitions. While the days of all-stock deals (pooling of interest) have more or less vanished, there does seem to be at least one public company in the pest control industry that has been effective in convincing sellers to take its stock (along with cash) in return for their companies: Sunair Services Corporation. Because Sunair is a public company, we can look to the public equity markets as a barometer of what the investing public thinks of Middleton’s acquisitions.

Extortion at Closing

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

At 2PM on Friday we told the two key managers (General Manager and VP of Sales) that we would be closing the sale of the business to a large regional pest control company in exactly one week.  The managers, understanding how important they were to the health of the company, soon realized that they possessed a tremendous amount of leverage.  Within 48 hours, they informed us that they would walk out the door unless we provided them a legal document promising a combined total of $500,000 at the closing table. At the start of the process, we knew that this could become a problem.  Because we didn’t have enough time to plan appropriately, we were very careful to make sure that the definitive purchase agreement signed by both buyer and seller clearly stated: (more…)

ABM Industries Incorporated To Acquire OneSource Services, Inc.

Monday, October 8th, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO AND BELIZE CITY, BELIZE – ABM Industries Incorporated (NYSE: ABM), a leading facilities services contractor, and OneSource Services Inc. (London AIM: OSS) (“OneSource”) announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement under which ABM will acquire OneSource for $365 million in cash. OneSource provides outsourced facilities services, including janitorial, landscaping, general repair and maintenance and other specialized services, for more than 10,000 commercial, industrial, institutional and retail accounts in the U.S. (more…)

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