To build density, ASG looks to Texas, the Mid-Atlantic

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Tuesday, June 1, 2004

BELTSVILLE, Md. - ASG Security has doubled its employee base and substantially grown its business thanks to its recent purchase of Argus Security Systems in McAllen, Texas. But it does not plan to stop there.

Over the next several months, officials at ASG Security expect to reach 55,000 customers and $35 million in annual revenues as it closes on a number of other acquisitions now in the works.

“We’re going to be growing very quickly,” said Joe Nuccio, president of ASG Security.

Though quick growth is anticipated, it will come with restraint. The focus, said Nuccio, is to first build market density in its current key geographic markets - the Mid Atlantic area and Texas.

With Argus Security on board, and the recent acquisition of 4,000 accounts from a still-operating Texas company, ASG Security accomplishes just that. Texas now accounts for 75 percent of the company’s 42,000 customer base. Argus Security brought 8,000 customers and $8 million in gross revenues to the table, plus a central station.

Nuccio said it’s too soon to tell how ASG Security will tap into the central station. For now, the plan is for the central station to continue to monitor the 8,000 alarm accounts from Argus Security, but it’s UL and FM approval “gives us some nice opportunities as we move forward,” said Nuccio.

ASG Security began courting Argus Security last fall. The company’s traditional approach to the market, offering both commercial and residential security, appealed to ASG Security, which is also taking a similar tact. The company also has a corner on the Rio Grande Valley market, providing CCTV, security and fire suppression to more than 400 restaurants in the area.

“We consider it a hidden gem,” said Bob Ryan, vice president of sales and marketing for ASG Security. “It’s in a border town and doesn’t get the recognition it would if in a primary or secondary market.”

Argus Security built a name for itself in Texas since its founding in 1981. The company started out by offering alarms, only to branch into the commercial market by adding CCTV, access control and gate entry systems. Today it employs 135 people.

Pete Carney and Jack Smith, former owners of Argus Security, began looking for a new owner two years ago. “I wanted the pressure off me on a day-to-day basis,” said Carney, the former president.

Though no longer owners, Carney and Smith remain with Argus Security. Carney will focus on access control and CCTV sales, while Smith will serve as a regional general manager for the company.

Nuccio said Argus Security provides a platform for ASG Security’s growth. “This is a cornerstone property for us in building the future of ASG,” he said.