EQT Private Equity Asia acquires Guardian, China’s largest domestic pest control operator
EQT Private Equity Asia makes majority investment in Guardian, China’s largest domestic pest control operator, with a strong presence in the country’s eastern and southern provinces
Guardian’s underlying market is supported by favorable demographic trends, such as increasing urbanization, a growing middle class, and a shift towards more healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyles, while from an ESG perspective, Guardian continues to improve living conditions in cities through efficient pest control
EQT will support Guardian’s next phase of growth by driving consolidation in China’s highly fragmented pest control market while leveraging EQT’s inhouse digitalization and sustainability capabilities, route-based sector expertise, and global advisory network
EQT is pleased to announce that the EQT Mid Market Asia III fund (“EQT Private Equity”) has made a majority investment in Guardian Shanghai Hygiene Service Ltd. (“Guardian” or the “Company”). Guardian’s founders, Chuck Jiang, Charlie Peng and Steven Gan will retain a minority stake in the Company and remain in the management team.
Guardian was founded in Shanghai in 2011 by Chuck Jiang, former General Manager of global pest control company, Rentokil, in China. It has grown from a regional player to a leading national player today, having completed 14 bolt-ons historically. Today, Guardian holds a strong position in high-end commercials verticals, including restaurant chains, supermarkets, shopping malls, airports, hotels and food production facilities.
Guardian’s underlying market is supported by favourable demographic trends, including an increasing urbanization pace, a growing middle class, and new regulatory directives, such as “Healthy China 2030”, a nation-wide policy reform that sets out to encourage more healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyles.
From an ESG perspective, Guardian continues to improve living conditions in cities through efficient pest control. EQT will further support Guardian’s digital innovation of pest control products and services, which is key to decreasing negative environmental and human impacts. By investing in and rolling out digital solutions such as digital rodent traps, Guardian could lower chemical usage and reduce the number of manual site visits.
EQT will support Guardian in its next phase of growth through improvements in its digital backbone, including investments in innovation and technology, online marketing strategy and digital service offerings. Guardian will also benefit from EQT’s sub-sector expertise within route-based services and planning, as well as merger and acquisition capabilities.
Jerry He, Partner within EQT Private Equity’s Advisory Team and Head of China, said, “EQT Private Equity is excited to invest in Guardian at this critical stage of growth. We are impressed by Guardian’s development in the last decade and see abundant opportunities to apply our industry network, sector expertise and digital skillsets to support its ambitious vision and expansion plans. Moreover, China’s fragmented pest control market allows for attractive opportunities for organic and acquisitive growth. We look forward to partnering with Chuck and his management team to future proof the company and reach its full potential.”
Chuck Jiang, Founder and CEO of Guardian, said, “Over the past decade, the entire Guardian team has dedicated itself to building the Company from the ground up, from a regional player to now a leading national player. We are excited to partner with EQT, one of the world’s largest and most reputable private equity firms, to further accelerate our growth and expand our footprint. EQT’s experience and expertise in the pest control space are highly valuable, and will support Guardian in realizing new opportunities and provide better and innovative solutions for our customers.”
The transaction was closed on 17 March 2022.
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