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ServiceMaster to explore strategic alternatives for ServiceMaster Brands franchise businesses

ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc. shares rose 3.5% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the pest control company said it is exploring strategic options for its ServiceMaster Brands business, that includes a possible sale of the segment. At stake are brands including ServiceMaster Restore, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec, which combined generated $252 million in revenue in the 12 months to Sept. 30. “We believe ServiceMaster shareholders would benefit from our Terminix business becoming a pure-play, global pest control company with enhanced management focus and resources,” Chairman Naren Gursahaney said in a statement. “We expect that proceeds arising from a possible transaction would be used for debt reduction, prudent strategic growth opportunities and shareholder returns.” Gursahaney has been named interim chief executive, replacing Nik Varty, who has stepped down to pursue other opportunities. The company also confirmed its 2019 revenue guidance of $2.070 billion to $2.085 billion. Shares have fallen 3.3% in the last 12 months through Friday, while the S&P 500 has gained 25%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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