American Alarm purchases Security Design Consultants

Following the acquisition, SDC employees joined American Alarm
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ARLINGTON, Mass.—American Alarm and Communications, a full-service security company based here, this week announced the acquisition of Security Design Consultants, based in Westwood, Mass.

The transaction was finalized on April 28. SDC's account base is about 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial; American Alarm's base is about 50-50, according to Louis Sampson, American Alarm's COO and co-owner.

"SDC operated for more than 40 years, primarily in Boston and the western suburbs of the city. Their main focus was residential systems, installation and service. They used a third-party monitoring partner, but over the next few weeks we will transition all customer monitoring to the American Alarm central station," Sampson told Security Systems News in an email interview.

“We have known Brad (and his late father) for many years and were friendly competitors in many of the same communities, with a mutual respect for each other’s work,” Sampson said. “Over the past few years, we’d have discussions about this potential deal, because Brad’s other business was also very successful and he was more interested in focusing on that going forward. So, the time was finally right to make this happen.” 

Brad Smith, former president of SDC, will be focusing on SDC’s affiliated company, Audio Video Design, which was not included in the sale to American Alarm. Smith is the owner and president of Audio Visual Design, which provides integrated entertainment and automation systems.

Following the deal, American Alarm and Audio Visual Design are now in a referral partnership. "They will refer security work to us, and we will refer home entertainment and digital technology integration to them," Sampson said.

SDC's Smith, in a prepared statement, said. “Looking to the future, I decided that my security customers needed the services of a company with more resources, one that can provide the very best service at a competitive price."

He continued, “American Alarm is the hands-down leading regional security company in New England. It is the model of the phrase ‘Big enough to serve you, but small enough to know you."

This is the company’s third acquisition within 12 months, following its purchase of Atlas Alarm Corp. in January and Electralarm in September 2016. "Our main focus now is on effective integration of these acquisitions to make sure we are serving our customers well. Of course, we are always keeping an eye out for opportunities and working on acquisitions in the pipeline," Sampson said.

Barry Epstein, president of Vertex Capital, advised Security Design Consultants on the deal.