CEC gets fire with A&A buy

A&A can now do AV, has more IP know-how
 - 
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

HIAWATHA, Iowa—Systems integrator Communications Engineering Company (CEC) in September completed the purchase of A&A Fire and Security of Green Bay, Wis.

In business since 1980, A&A is a systems integrator and will continue to use the A&A name. Terms of the deal were not released.

“We do a little more fire than CEC. I’d say access control, video and fire alarm are the three primary focal points of our business,” said Tom Binish, former owner of A&A, who will now serve as general manager of A&A.

Binish said that CEC “mirrors what we do” on a larger scale. “They are strong in fire alarm, strong in health care communications as well as video surveillance and access control. In addition, they also have a cable and IT network division.”

The acquisition will benefit A&A “from a financial standpoint ... increase the integrated systems we can offer customers and the combination of the two companies brings greater strength through our industry experience and technical resources,” he said.

It also gives A&A access to “several new product offerings we didn’t have in the past in the professional sound arena [used for] mass notification ... [audio] used in commercial applications is one of the strengths of CEC.”

CEC actually installs IT networks and does a lot of IP-based security installation. “On video surveillance sales, 90 percent are IP-based,” Binish said.

Binish said the partnership would strengthen A&A’s hand in the competitive bidding process. And his company is eager to incorporate “structured cabling and other network offerings of CEC.”

CEC has 145 employees and this acquisition adds 35 more. In addition to its corporate offices here, CEC has offices in Iowa City, Dubuque, Davenport, and Des Moines. A&A has offices in Green Bay and Madison, Wis.