News Column

ServiceMaster nets $2.2B in Memphis-based company's public offering on NYSE

June 26, 2014

By Jennifer Backer, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

June 26--Memphis-based ServiceMaster Co. rose slightly in its stock market debut Thursday, valuing the owner of Merry Maids cleaning service and Terminix pest control at about $2.2 billion.

After pricing the IPO at $17 each, ServiceMaster rose 5.6 percent to $17.95 at the close of trading in New York. The shares had been offered for $18 to $21. The shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SERV.

The company filed for an initial public offering for up to $100 million in March. It plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to pay down some of its debt, ServiceMaster said in a release.

It becomes one of a dozen companies based in Greater Memphis whose shares are traded on public exchanges.

New York investors Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC bought the Chicago company in a $5.5 billion deal in 2007. The company relocated to Memphis, home of its Terminex division, in 2006.

Proceeds from the stock offering will be used in part to pay some of the private-equity owners $21 million to terminate consulting agreements, according to the IPO filing. CD&R isn't selling any shares in the offering.

More than half of ServiceMaster's $2.3 billion in revenue comes from its Terminix brand last year, the company said in regulatory filings. Terminix has been on a buying spree as it tries to cement its status as the largest pest control company in the world.

The company employs 13,000 workers, including 2,300 in Memphis, and independent franchises employ another 31,000 workers.

Bloomberg News contributed to this article.


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Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

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