APX makes first acquisition

Company will provide a new channel for APX to gain customers, leading with energy management
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

PROVO, Utah—Marking its first acquisition in its 11-year history, APX Alarm on Jan. 12 announced that it bought Meter Solutions, an installer of smart meters for utilities.

“It’s our first, and its not even in security,” Alex Dunn, APX COO told Security Systems News.

Meter Solutions, based in Orem, Utah, specializes in the installation of Automated Metering Infrastructure systems, or AMI.

“There’s a whole new generation of water, electric and gas meters, that are zigbee-enabled, which allows the meter to communicate with devices inside the home and communicate in a direct way with utilities on the backend,” Dunn explained. These meters provide more accurate billing and reduce labor costs, he said.

Meter Solutions will operate as its own division within APX Alarm, continuing to serve the utilities in several locations across the country. Dunn said Meter Solutions is a great standalone business, but it’s even more interesting when combined with energy management and other home automation offerings APX is interested in.

Details are still being worked out, but Dunn said APX views the acquisition as “a new channel to create customers leading with energy management, and then ... upgrade them to other services, including security.”

This buy expands APX’ new foray into energy management. Just this summer, APX—which is based here—announced its first new add-on to its GO!Control security panel, a new home management package designed to save consumers in energy costs. APX sales representatives began selling the new energy management package on June 1.

Paul Dickson and Taylor Turnbull, co-founders of Meter Solutions, will continue to run Meter Solutions for APX Alarm. The two were named “top student entrepreneurs” in 2009 by Brigham Young University.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. APX this fall announced it had upped its debt financing by $125 million to a total of $565 million.

Will APX be doing more acquisitions? “We’re not in the mode of acquiring companies for customer accounts, but we’ll consider an acquisition if it will help us execute on our strategy of providing simple and affordable home automation solutions to our customers,” Dunn said.