PE Profit Ladder Market Watch Newsletter: Roark-Backed ServiceMaster Teams with Ace Hardware

Mark Twain is reported to have said, "During a gold rush, its a good time to be in the pick and shovel business." 

Home services is probably the biggest gold rush in US franchising at the moment. This week Roark-backed ServiceMaster announced that it struck a multi-year agreement with Ace Hardware. ServiceMaster franchisees can now buy equipment and supplies through Ace. 

This one is interesting because Ace outlets are locally owned and the company itself is a cooperative. Ace has made acquisitions including the Handyman Matters franchise in 2019 and a portfolio of HVAC companies in 2023. There is also private equity activity at the unit level. For example, JPB Partners owns a number of stores and consolidated additional units last year.

Could this be a "try before you buy" opportunity for the Ace co-op to see what it's like to work with Roark? Will this prompt other home services franchise platforms to get more aggressive around supply chain initiatives?

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Categories: All, Impact on franchising, PE Profit Ladder Newsletter, Trends