Terminix to Buy Sears Termite & Pest Control

Service Master Co.'s Terminix business unit agreed to acquire Orlando-based Sears Termite & Pest Control Inc.

Sears expects the acquisition to affect about 1,000 employees when the deal closes, which is expected by the end of 2001.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck and Co., Sears Termite & Pest Control currently serves about 250,000 residents, primarily in the Southeast.

The companies would not disclose the purchase price or any additional terms of the deal.

Michael J. Tower, the senior vice president of strategy for Sears, says Sears decided to leave the termite and pest control industry as its refocuses on its main businesses to improve profitability. "It is imperative that we discontinue activities that divert attention from that task," Tower says.

The decision follows the plans announced by Sears earlier this year to reevaluate that segment.

By acquiring Sears Termite & Pest Control, Terminix expects to expand its presence in Florida, Georgia and Texas, says Albert Cantu, president of Terminix.

Terminix, the largest U.S. termite and pest control company, handles 4 million customers through more than 325 U.S. branches, more than 150 U.S. franchise locations and 400 international locations.

Cantu also says Terminix plans to further Sears' customer relationships and maintain the same level of service offerings and guarantees.

The transaction has already received regulatory approval.

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