Rentokil History

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Our history

We are a UK company with our Rentokil Initial roots sown over 100 years ago. Our international growth to a FTSE100 company today is our proud history. Join us.

  • 2020

    Rentokil Initial #18 Best place to work UK 2020 logo awarded by Glassdoor

    Glassdoor Best Places to Work

    Rentokil Initial placed 18th in Glassdoor's Best Place to Work UK 2020 list, our second time we have been on the list in three years!

  • 2019

    Rentokil Initial #1 Indeed top-rated workplace logo orange

    Indeed Top-Rated Workplace

    Indeed has awarded Rentokil Initial the #1 spot on the Top-Rated Workplaces list, highlighting our great work-life balance, progression opportunities and team atmosphere.

  • 2018

    RSPH Hygeia Award for excellence in learner support logo awarded to Rentokil Initial

    The Hygeia Awards

    Rentokil Initial was awarded its first Hygeia Award as a Centre of Excellence for our continuing commitment to learners.

  • 2018

    Rentokil Initial RoSPA Award

    RoSPA Gold Award

    In 2018 Rentokil Initial won a RoSPA Gold Award, demonstrating a well-developed occupational health and safety management system and culture.

  • 2018

    2018 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award


    Glassdoor Best Places to Work

    Rentokil Initial achieved #7 on the list for the UK Best Places to Work in 2018, awarded by Glassdoor.

  • 2017

    2017 The Queen’s Award for Enterprise


    The Queen’s Award for Enterprise

    Rentokil Initial is awarded the first of two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, in the category of International Trade, recognising the business’s outstanding achievement in global trade.

  • 2016

    Wise Property Care

    Acquisition of Wise Property Care

    Another exciting acquisition with Scotland based Wise Property Care joining our expanding property services businesses.

  • 2015

    Peter Cox Jobs

    Acquisition of Peter Cox

    Peter Cox joins the Rentokil Initial family, strengthening our presence within the commercial property services sector.

  • 2015


    One of the biggest Google users

    Apps, Hangouts and G+ social media have become embedded within the company, boosting productivity and efficiency. Virtual communities are used to share knowledge, sales leads and best practice.

  • 2014



    Rentokil launched its first global 24-hour Pestaurant event, with pop-up stands serving edible insects to 20,000 people in 12 cities from Washington to Sydney.

  • 2014


    CleanVision wins Award

    Initial Cleanroom’s CleanVision garment saw off tough competition from other German, Portuguese, Austrian and British companies to be awarded Cleanroom Technology’s Cleanroom Award for 2014.

  • 2013


    ‘City of Adelaide’ is prepared for her final voyage

    The ‘City of Adelaide’, a clipper ship built in 1864 had lain on the banks of the River Clyde in Scotland. An international ‘Bring her Home’ campaign was launched in Adelaide and in late 2013 the ship bearing the City’s name began its voyage home. Before the ship could move, however, Rentokil experts were called in to undertake bird proofing and specialist cleaning and disinfection to ensure the ship met with strict Australian import regulations.

  • 2008


    Ambius is born

    Rentokil Tropical Plants was renamed Ambius and began to expand its service offering to include ambient scenting and corporate artwork.

  • 2001


    Chelsea Flower Show

    Rentokil Tropical Plants won their first gold medal at Britain’s most celebrated horticultural events, the Chelsea Flower Show. They went on to win many more gold and silver gilt awards at the Hampton Court Flower show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live events.

  • 1996


    Rentokil Initial is created

    Rentokil made its largest acquisition to date, BET (British Electric Traction) and the Initial brand passed to Rentokil.

  • 1985


    BET acquired Initial

    In the early 80s BET increased its stake in Initial to 40%, and in 1985 BET acquired the remaining 60%. This allowed it to merge Initial with Advance Service's laundry operations while retaining the Initial brand name.

  • 1979


    Towering achievement

    Rentokil secured a pest control contract for the newly-built NatWest Tower in the City of London – at that time it was Britain’s tallest building.

  • 1969


    Listed on the London Stock Exchange

    Rentokil Group Ltd was listed on the London Stock Exchange with one of the largest new issues of shares the City had seen. In the same year, it established the basis of a hygiene division with the purchase of Rashbrooke Chemical Company and in 1970 acquired Thames Services for £1million.

  • 1966


    Buckingham Palace

    Rentokil was awarded a contract to repel birds at Buckingham Palace and pest control at the newly opened Post Office Tower (BT Tower).

  • 1962



    On 1 January 1962 all the UK trading companies became divisions of Rentokil Laboratories Ltd, shortened to Rentokil Limited.

  • 1957

    Combining our expertise
    By the mid 1950s, the synergies between British Ratin and Rentokil Ltd had become obvious and British Ratin acquired Rentokil Ltd and its service arm, Woodworm and Dry Rot Control Ltd.

  • 1944


    Dr Hickin, Entomologist

    Dr Norman Hickin joined Rentokil Limited as an entomologist. He started a servicing section which became Woodworm and Dry Rot Control Ltd in 1952.

  • 1940


    Ratin Buys Chelsea

    Demand for pest control services began extending beyond rodent control to insect control. British Ratin made its first acquisition, Chelsea Insecticides Ltd.

  • 1928


    Enter BET

    The Initial Towel Supply Company floated on the stock market and during the 1930s BET (British Electric Traction) acquired a small stake in Initial.

  • 1925


    Rentokil is born

    The company was registered in 1925 as Rentokil Limited due to trade name objections preventing the name 'Entokill'.

  • 1924



    Harold Maxwell-Lefroy started supplying bottles of woodworm fluid from a small factory in Hatton Garden, which he called 'Ento-kill fluids – an amalgam of the Greek work 'entomon' meaning insect and the English word 'kill'.

  • 1920


    Westminster Hall Deathwatch Beetle

    Harold Maxwell-Lefroy, Professor of Entomology at Imperial College London, was asked to study ways of exterminating the beetles in Westminster Hall and in time began receiving regular orders.

  • 1906


    Ratin Discovered

    Danish pharmacist, Georg Neumann of Aalborg discovered a strain of bacteria lethal to rats and mice, which became known commercially as Ratin. The first London sales office opened in 1906.

  • 1903


    Initialled Towels Introduced

    Mr A. P. Bigelow introduced a towel rental service to businesses in London. Each towel was marked with the customer's initials, which ensured that customers only received their own towels, leading to the name, 'Initial Towel Supply Company'.