Advanced Signal acquires life-safety division of electrical contractor

The fold-in will benefit the Massachusetts parts-and-smarts company and its parent company, American Alarm and Communications
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

RANDOLPH, Mass.—Advanced Signal, based here, has acquired the fire and life safety accounts of a longtime Rockland, Mass.-based electrical contractor, P.E. Caruso.

Also, Advanced Signal’s parent company, Arlington, Mass.-based American Alarm and Communications, will take on Caruso’s former security customers, the company announced May 29.

“It fits really well,” American Alarm President Wells Sampson told Security Systems News regarding the deal, which was recently finalized.

Most of the approximately 80 accounts acquired are large commercial fire accounts—including schools, condominium complexes, retail plazas, commercial buildings and industrial properties—that will be served by Advanced Signal, he said.

Advanced Signal, a Notifier by Honeywell engineered systems distributor, was founded in 1975 and has about 18 employees, Sampson said.

American Alarm acquired the company in 2007 but with little fanfare, Sampson said. He said the parts-and-smart company relies on electrical contractors to do the installation work and had built up many trusted relationships. To help preserve those relationships, Sampson said, American kept Advanced Signal with a “separate, stand-alone identity” after the purchase to show “our key electrician partners … that it would be business as usual and, in fact, [that business would be] improved.”

Paul Caruso, who founded P.E. Caruso in 1985, was one of Advanced Signal’s electrician partners. Sampson said, “I think the fact that Paul was comfortable leaving his customers in our hands is an example of what we were hoping to achieve by coming into that sort of parts-and-smarts market in an understated way.”

This is the first acquisition for Advanced Signal since American Alarm purchased it, Sampson told SSN.

Together, American Alarm and Advanced Signal serve more than 22,000 customers.

The Caruso accounts are a fold-in for Advanced Signal because Rockland is located less than 10 miles from Advanced Signal’s Randolph location. Advanced Signal will offer Caruso’s former commercial and institutional customers fire alarm monitoring, testing, inspection and other life safety services.

Caruso also had some fire sprinkler customers, Sampson said. He said Advanced Signal will also serve those customers with the aid of “a number of sprinkler contractors who are close partners of ours.”

Because Caruso largely ran his company single-handedly, his former customers will benefit from Advanced Signal’s greater number of technicians and its 24/7 service, Sampson said.

Sampson said the former Caruso accounts also will be monitored by American Alarm’s UL-certified central station in nearby Arlington. Caruso relied on third-party monitoring but now, Sampson said, “this brings it all together.”

Sampson declined to reveal terms of the deal or how much RMR is involved. However, he said, “it’s certainly a boost to RMR and a boost to growth.”