American Auto-Matrix under new ownership

The management led buyout places it in American hands for the first time in nine years
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Saturday, February 1, 2003

EXPORT, Pa. - A management led buyout of American Auto-Matrix has placed the building controls’ company in new hands, nine years after joining a U.K. based communication technology company.

The buyout was led by Paul Jordan, who joined the company a year ago as chief executive officer. A small group of unidentified investors were also part of the deal.

According to a press release issued by American Auto-Matrix’s former parent company Vislink, Jordan Acquisition Group bought the company for $2 million. The deal closed on Dec. 13, 2002.

“I was brought in here to grow the business and I see it as having a great strategy and great potential,” said Jordan, who is the majority shareholder in the company which makes access control and digital video monitoring and recording products. On the building automation side, its product is known is BACnet.

The decision to sell American Auto-Matrix was made in early 2002, according to a Vislink press release. The release said a slowdown in the building controls sector in the United States and the high cost of introducing access control products would provide little return for the parent company.

Now with American Auto-Matrix under new ownership, plans call for increasing the company’s product lines and improving relationships with partners, goals that company officials expect will now be easier to accomplish. As a privately held company, Jordan said American Auto-Matrix is able to plan for the long-term. As a publicly held company, officials often looked for an immediate financial return, he said.

Steve Gavlak, director of marketing at American Auto-Matrix, said the new ownership is a positive move for the company.

“What we’re really attempting to do is really grow our business,” said Gavlak, who has been with American Auto-Matrix for five years. “Our goal is to double our business and double our company size in the first three to five years.”

Part of that will be accomplished by American Auto-Matrix increasing its dealer base from 100 in North America and internationally to about 120 in the first year under new ownership. “We are investing heavily in expanding our dealer network,” said Jordan. “We’re adding more dealers to a tune of 20 percent a year.”

Already American Auto-Matrix has begun broadening its product line, with future additions in the works. Last fall the company added digital video monitoring and recording products, all of which can be integrated with the company’s HVAC and access control lines.

“We’re really driving product development and we’re going to see some additions early next year, particularly with our BACnet line,” said Jordan.

With the BACnet line, company officials intend to introduce more programmable devices. That roll out is expected by the second quarter of this year.