News

Presto-X joins Ehrlich in Rentokil North America

31 July, 2007

Reading, PA,

Agreement Represents Significant Growth

Presto-X Pest Control, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, has entered into an agreement to join Ehrlich Pest Control as part of Rentokil North America. The announcement was made by Victor Hammel, Ehrlich President and CEO of Rentokil Pest Control North America and Presto-X co-owners Ward Combs, II, President and Jerry Keown, Vice President.

Settlement is expected on August 31, 2007, after which time Presto-X will continue using the Presto-X brand. Presto-X’s 2007 revenues are expected to exceed $30.0 million.

With a 17 state service territory in the Mid-West, the addition of Presto-X provides Rentokil Pest Control North America with significant geographic growth and increases the company’s revenues by 20%. Founded in 1932 by Ward Combs, Sr., Presto-X focuses exclusively on the commercial pest control market, specializing in food processing and other regulated industries. The company employs 300 coworkers operating from 21 service centers and was ranked #25 in the Pest Control Technology (PCT) Top 100 list.

All Presto-X coworkers will be retained and continue to operate as they have been. “We are absolutely delighted to make this announcement,” said Hammel. “Presto-X is an extremely well-run organization with a deep and competent management team. They are truly one of the pillars of the US pest control industry with leaders who have been active at all levels in the National Pest Management Association.

Ward Combs was previously President of the National Pest Management Association, while Jerry Keown was a long-time Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of NPMA and was recently honored for his service in that capacity. Presto-X has also been instrumental in the growth and support of Copesan over many decades. According to Combs who is a Copesan Board member, Keown, a past Chairman of Copesan, and Bobby Hammel, also a Copesan Board member, "We look forward to continuing our relationship with our Copesan customers and partners and growing this important part of our business."

Combs agrees that this is a great opportunity for both firms. “The close relationship we’ve had with many people at Ehrlich over the years makes this a great next chapter for Presto-X. While our cultures and values are very similar, I know we will learn a lot from each other. Combining our resources with Ehrlich and Rentokil gives all of us the opportunity to compete in larger markets that we would not have attempted on our own.”

Keown added “Presto-X and Ehrlich Pest Control have a very similar business philosophy that focuses on our clients Being part of a global organization such as this will truly open new doors for us and in particular our associates. It was extremely important to us that their future was secure. Ward and I have worked closely with the Ehrlich Pest Control organization over the years. We are truly excited about the opportunity we have to combine these two well-respected organizations and learn from one another.”

Ehrlich Pest Control was acquired by Rentokil Initial plc in 2006 and has served as its platform for growth in North America, the world’s largest pest control market. Rentokil Pest Control operates in 38 countries worldwide and is the leading player in many of these markets. Rentokil North America currently employs 1,600 coworkers in 56 district offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and Toronto, Canada. The company provides commercial and residential pest control, bioremediation, bird control, vegetation management, deer repellent services and termite control.

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