Cintas has acquired 3GS of Knoxville, TN. 3GS has grown from a single location in Tennessee to over a dozen locations around the Southeast and Midwest. They provided shredding services, document imaging, and document storage solutions. This ends the year with a bang in the acquisition market for shredding companies.
It appears that as other companies have slowed down their acquisitions that Cintas remains a strong buyer. Most acquisitions are now coming from private equity funds looking to create regional service providers. The goal of creating the regional firms is to then sell it off to a national company. Assuming 3GS made money on the aggregation then it is likely we will see more of this aggregation process in the coming years.
While many people see the day when there are not local providers I don’t think that will happen. National chains have several advantages over their competitors. But the national chains also have some disadvantages. In today’s market it is much more important to provide good service than to be the biggest.
The security of business documents is too important to pick someone based on how many pagers are in their brochure. Whether they are big or small the winner will be the company that provides security and value.