Episode 87

6/30/22

Topic: Building a Company Through Acquisition

Guest: Mike Givlin, CEO, Certus Pest

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In this episode we discuss:

  • Mikes background with Bird Control International, Steritech and Anticimex

  • How running an $80 million company is like running a small company, and how it is different

  • How Certus has done 57 acquisitions in three years

  • Certus' approach to unifying the companies it buys

  • Why change management is so important and what it entails

  • The decision to rebrand many of its companies under the Purcor brand

  • The company's internal communication strategy, including town hall meetings and anonymous text line

  • What Certus has learned from some of the companies it has acquired

  • Mike's perspective about valuations amid high inflations and interest rates going up

  • The levers companies can pull to improve gross margin, and is it worth the risk

  • What integration looks like at Certus and how it has evolved

  • Mike's advice for smaller companies who are consider making acquisitions

  • His advice for owners looking to sell in the next five years

  • When Certus may crack the top 10 of the PCT Top 100 (it's currently at No. 18)

  • The plan for Certus' private equity firm, Imperial Capital

  • His opinion of the Terminix/Rentokil deal

Resources mentioned:

Notable: "You will always get a premium relative to market if you have a really good company — high recurring revenue, really tight routes, well-run." —Mike Givlin


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