Alarm Capital Alliance expands into New Mexico

ACA buys the Santa Fe branch of an Arizona super-regional; will look for other acquisitions in that state
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.—Alarm Capital Alliance has expanded into a new state with the acquisition of the New Mexico branch of Safeguard Security and Communications.

The acquisition, which took place this fall, brings 1,400 mostly residential accounts totaling more than $50,000 in RMR to ACA, which is based here. It also expands the company’s footprint to a total of 38 states.

“This is a brand new market for us,” Kelly Bond, senior VP of sales and marketing for ACA, told Security Systems News. “We’re excited about it because it gives us an opportunity to really expand that market.”

Bond, who oversaw the acquisition and contract negotiations for the transaction, said ACA will retain Safeguard’s Santa Fe branch office and its three employees, rebranding it and doing business out of that office.

Bond said the acquisition is a bit of a departure from ACA’s typical transactions.

Founded in 2000, ACA has a quickly growing dealer program but still focuses mainly on completing bulk account acquisitions. In many instances, the seller stays in business, keeps its brand, and services the accounts it sells to ACA. However, there are some cases where the seller goes away completely and ACA takes over the operation.

But in this case, Safeguard Security, a super-regional based in Scottsdale, Ariz., simply wanted to sell its New Mexico branch to ACA.

“This was not just a typical transaction for us.  Our flexibility gives us the ability to do deals like this, where the seller chooses to only divest a portion of the company.” Bond said. “We were a very good fit.

She said that she has known Safeguard CEO John Jennings for years and he knew about ACA and its model. “They knew our history and that we would take excellent care of the customer base. When John contacted us to discuss the opportunity, we agreed that it looked like a great opportunity,” Bond said.

In a prepared statement, Jennings said, “We knew ACA was the right partner for us and our customers due to the depth of experience their acquisitions team possesses.”

Bond declined to give specifics on the terms of the deal, which closed Oct. 4, but said, “Everyone was happy at the closing.”

With this acquisition, ACA has more than 145,000 customers nationwide, the company said.

Anastasia Bottos, chief business development officer and EVP of acquisitions for ACA, said in a statement that “from start to close, we were able to complete due diligence, negotiate an asset purchase agreement, and finalize the transaction in less than 20 business days,” because Safeguard is a “first class operation.” 

Safeguard has been in New Mexico since 2001 and just last year made a tuck-in acquisition there.

Bond said ACA had “looked at other transactions in New Mexico over the years and nothing had come to fruition” until this one.

She said that Safeguard’s good reputation in New Mexico gives ACA “a strong foothold” in the new market, which ACA will focus on growing. “We will definitely be looking for other acquisition opportunities there, in addition to promoting our dealer program in the area,” Bond said.