Air Security buys U.K. firm, establishes crisis management office

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Sunday, December 1, 2002

DULUTH, Ga. - A deal between a systems integrator here and a Houston-based lock company has enabled the lock company's small security division to break away and position itself for growth.

The arrangement involved Tech Systems buying Baker's Security Solutions Division, a deal announced in October. Transaction terms were not released.

While the deal provides Baker's Security with the financial backing and other resources of a well-established systems integrator, Tech Systems gains a Houston location to its mostly Southeast footprint.

"The value was we got to merge them with us and provide the horsepower that they needed to grow," said Darryl Keeler, president of Tech Systems, a systems integrator based here, with $8.5 million in projected sales for 2002.

Keeler said the two companies were brought together by IDenticard Systems, an access control manufacturer that both companies used.

"One of the guys at IDenticard thought they would be a good fit for us," he said.

About four years ago, Baker Lock and Safe, a 29-year-old lock company with hundreds of customers, started a Security Solutions Division.

The security division was looking to grow, said Keeler, but lacked the resources to make it happen.

Separating the security division, said Keeler, and joining it with Tech Systems, proved the ideal solution.

Randy Simpson, who is now the Houston branch manager for Tech Systems, said the branch will be able to tap into Tech Systems network of support, such as product buying power and training,

"This lets me move into a realm of operating a business that has all the support you need to go to national and corporate clients," explained Simpson.

While Simpson retains his stake in Baker Lock and Safe, his wife, Debra Simpson, is managing the division while he focuses on the new endeavor with Tech Systems.

Within the first year as part of Tech Systems, Simpson anticipates business will triple both in sales and client base. The branch serves 10 "solid accounts," according to Keeler.

Tech Systems also expects to grow, either through opening new branches or finding acquisitions such as Baker's Security. The company's newest branch opened in Nashville earlier this year.

Over the past three years, Tech Systems has experienced roughly 25 percent growth each year, said Keeler.