Q&A with Anticimex North America President Mikael Vinje


October 17, 2017

Our question-and-answer this month features Mikael Vinje, president of Anticimex North America. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, parent company Anticmex International AB is the fourth-largest pest management company in the world. Anticimex entered the U.S. with a big splash in the summer of 2016, acquiring two of the country’s crown jewels: Paramus, N.J.-based Bug Doctor, and Fulton, Md.-based American Pest Management. Since then, Anticimex has acquired GreenStar Termite & Pest Control, R&K Pest Control, Viking Termite & Pest Control, Modern Pest Services, MidAtlantic Pest Services and ACE Exterminating — and that’s just Anticimex’s acquisition activity in the U.S.

Miikae Vinje

1. Welcome to the U.S. It looks like you’re here for more than a holiday. How does the U.S. fit into Anticimex’s global growth plans?

Our vision is to be the global leader in preventive pest management, and there are more high quality pest control companies in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. The U.S. represents about 50 percent of the global pest management market. Growth opportunities abound here, as well as abroad.

2. Let’s get down to brass tacks: What’s your growth goal for the U.S.?

Our near-term goal is to reach $300 million in annual pest management revenue in the U.S. by the end of 2020. We’ll accomplish this through continued strategic acquisitions — standalones and tuck-ins — as well as organic growth. Our global goal is 15- to 20-percent top-line annual revenue growth: 10 percent or more through acquisitions and at least 5 percent through organic growth.

3. Based on Anticimex’s first eight acquisitions in the U.S., is the company’s plan to first develop a strategic foothold on the East Coast?

Yes. We’re targeting companies that serve high-density areas, for route and revenue optimization. We want to be where pest pressure is heavy. We’re also targeting companies with more recurring revenue and more-profitable business. But there are several companies based on the West Coast, or elsewhere across the U.S., that also meet these criteria. Our East Coast move is just Wave 1.

4. The word on the street, from those whose companies have joined Anticimex, is the businesses you acquire can operate autonomously. Is this by design?

Yes. Our acquisition approach is driven by our corporate culture. We have a small headquarters, in a small country. We have just 17 people based at our global headquarters — about 1 percent what other companies our size have at their home offices. Since our founding in 1934, we’ve always believed in decentralization and employee empowerment.

5. Anticimex leverages digital traps, sensors and cameras to monitor and control rodents around-the-clock. Do you see high-tech pest monitoring and control tools increasingly being adopted by pest management professionals (PMPs) in the U.S. and abroad?

Absolutely. To move more toward pest prevention/exclusion and away from purely reactive pest control, our profession needs to continuously leverage the latest control technologies. The pests we battle are evolving and advancing every day. We need to do likewise.

You can reach Publisher and Editorial Director Marty Whitford at mwhitford@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3766.

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