2H 2020 Business Services M&A Report

In business, good information is key to making good decisions. But when there’s too much data, too many streams of information, too many competing reports, it can be hard to see what’s real and what’s not. That’s signal to noise. We believe in the era of COVID in the commercial services sector, there are some pretty strong signals. And a lot of noise. We see that stew of signal and noise perhaps nowhere as much as in commercial cleaning services. How much information is too much? Is the sector contracting, or is it coiling for a boom? What does it all mean for those considering a business sale, purchase, or merger? Commercial cleaning saw plenty of changes in 2020. While “the office” has always been considered critical to business productivity and creativity, in just a few months priority shifted to working from home. Even in the earliest stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 60% of Americans were sent home to work, and 80% of workers said they liked it. As workers went home to guest-room offices, the commercial cleaning industry (also known under blurred lines as facilities management, janitorial services, or building services contractor organizations) suffered a quick shock. When offices buildings closed, cleaning contracts dried up. And it wasn’t only offices. Sports stadiums, movie theaters, music venues, event centers, and arenas closed. Large conferences canceled or went online. Hotels sat empty…

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