Advanced Cabling acquires 1st Response

Integrator eyes expansion in Missouri
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Advanced Cabling Systems, a $21 million integrator based here, has acquired 1st Response Security, a Honeywell CSS dealer with expertise in the school vertical. Both companies are based here.

“They have a real stronghold in the Arkansas K-12 market. That’s one vertical that we have been growing and look to continue to grow,” Michael Kennedy, Advanced Cabling Systems’ president told Security Systems News.

Kennedy also liked the fact that 1st Response is a Honeywell CSS dealer.  “Honeywell has some technology specifically around intrusion and video that’s appealing, and they’re also pretty predominant in Arkansas; they have a strong loyal customer base.”

The most important component of the deal, Kennedy said, is that the staff from 1st Response “really fit our culture.” Former 1st Response owner Nathan Harris, sales manager Jeff Marshall and three other employees will join Advanced Cabling.

That brings Advanced Cabling’s employee headcount to about 153. In addition to its headquarters here, Advanced Cabling has offices in Lowell, Ark., Tulsa, Okla., and Oklahoma City, Okla. Kennedy is one of the owners of this privately held company.  

Kennedy declined to discuss financial terms of the deal.

Business has been good for Advanced Cabling, even through the recession. “We’ve grown 20 percent every year for the past 20 years,” Kennedy said. Arkansas was somewhat insulated from the recession he said, but it also helped that his company is lean and diversified.

Several of his competitors closed up shop in the wake of the recession, he said.

In addition to schools, Advanced Cabling has vertical market expertise in oil and gas, gaming and data centers.

Kennedy said his company derives 25 percent of its revenues from service, including contract work such as fire test and inspection, pure monitoring, and non-contract work, which includes four or five dedicated employees who work at customer sites doing security and fire work.

His plan is to “expand the business organically and through acquisitions … to be a $50 million company in three to five years.”

Advanced Cabling is working with Cornerstone Business Advisors to find more acquisitions that “fit our geographic area and our culture,” Kennedy said.

In addition to Arkansas and Oklahoma, the company does business in Texas, Colorado and Kansas. It is currently looking to expand in Missouri.