DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. - ServiceMaster has announced its intention to sell its American Residential Services (ARS) and American Mechanical Services (AMS) companies in order to concentrate resources on its main growth businesses. The company has also entered into an agreement to acquire InStar Services Group, which is engaged in the commercial disaster response and reconstruction business.

ServiceMaster stated that it is exploring alternatives for American Residential Services and American Mechanical Services including the sale of both businesses. The company has retained William Blair & Company as its financial advisor to assist in this process. The company said that it does not expect to disclose developments concerning the status of this process unless and until it and its board of directors has approved a definitive transaction.

"Our best opportunity to build shareholder value is to have fewer priorities and to pursue them with greater intensity. We have applied that thinking to both our strategies and our portfolio," said Jonathan Ward, chairman and chief executive officer. "This action reflects the company's continued commitment to brands which have the ability to achieve sustainable national market leadership and a high potential to achieve significant and consistent growth in share, revenue, and return on capital."

To expand its disaster restoration business, ServiceMaster announced the proposed acquisition of InStar Services Group. The company expects to complete the acquisition of InStar during the first quarter after clearing antitrust review.

With estimated fiscal year 2005 revenues of approximately $130 million, InStar is a leading provider of commercial disaster response and reconstruction services in the United States. InStar provides a range of services, from planning prior to an event, to emergency response following the event, and continuing service through cleaning, recovery, and reconstruction.

"The acquisition of InStar will complement the services of ServiceMaster Clean and changes the game in the commercial disaster response and restoration market," said Ward. "Combining the capabilities of InStar with ServiceMaster Clean will create a single source solution for the delivery of comprehensive commercial loss services on a national basis, and an opportunity for our customers to significantly reduce business interruption."

In the delivery of services to national, regional, and local customers, InStar will handle the work directly or in combination with ServiceMaster Clean franchisees. Currently, InStar has 24 offices covering 28 states in the Southeast, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions, and has the ability to mobilize and manage projects nationwide. ServiceMaster Clean, a leader in residential disaster restoration, has over 1,000 facilities in the United States and Canada.

For more information about American Residential Services LLC, visit

Publication date: 02/06/2006