Guardian applies to deregister stock

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Thursday, May 1, 2003

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Guardian International announced in late March that it had applied to the Securities and Exchange Commission to deregister its common stock, the second company to do so in a matter of months.

Because of the filing of Form 15 on March 27, the company will no longer be required to make public certain reports and periodic filings to the SEC, a change expected to occur about 90 days from the date of the filing.

Wholesale monitoring company Security Associates International took the same action earlier this year, due to the company’s small number of shareholders and the costs associated with maintaining the company’s public status.

“With the added cost of being public under (the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,) we will see a lot of companies going private,” said Jack Mallon, industry analyst and managing director of Mallon Capital. “They are called upon to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain their public status.”

Like many small companies, Guardian is unable to leverage its public status through the use of its stock as currency in a transaction or raise money through the public markets as a secondary offering because of the company’s low valuation, Mallon said.

Company officials did not return calls for comment, but said in a press release that Guardian’s board of directors considered the company’s low number of shareholders - less than 300 as of Dec. 31,2002 - and the high costs of filing public reports.

At press time, the company, which monitors about 60,000 accounts from two central stations on the East Coast, saw its stock close at $0.35.