Identisys buys Claritus ID division

Integrator expects to have $40 million in revenues in 2012
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Systems integrator Identisys on June 1 acquired the identification division of Claritus, an integrator based in Lincoln, Neb.

While the deal “facilitates Identisys’ aggressive growth plan,” Deb Ferril, president and COO of Identisys, told Security Systems News that the deal came about because of a change in Claritus’ business plan.

“They wanted to focus on [a different, growing part of] their mailing business and get out of the identification business,” Ferril explained.

“We’ve known Claritus well for 25 years,” she said. “They have an excellent reputation, a solid customer base, and we know all their salespeople. … The identification division is a solid organization and it beautifully fits and facilitates our expansion plans.”

Terms of the deal were not released, but Ferril said that six Claritus employees—three sales staff, a project manager and two service technicians—will join Identisys.

Founded 13 years ago, Identisys is privately owned by CEO Michael Shields. The company has experienced “double-digit growth every year … even when you account for the acquisitions. When you pull those out, we still had double-digit growth,” Ferril said.

The company expects to do about $40 million of business this year.  

Identisys began as an integrator of pure identification systems. That’s still its specialty, but it does full security integration in a number of verticals including corporate campuses, higher education, health care, finance and gaming.

This is Identisys’ ninth acquisition in seven years, and the second this year. On March 31, it acquired Capital Card Systems of Rockville, Md. In July 2010, it acquired Card Solutions  and bought Inland Business Solutions in December 2010. In 2008, it bought CardSmart.

Ferril describes the company’s growth plan this way: “We have customers in every state in the country and in 30 foreign countries. Our growth plan is to continue to push out and to have more field sales and service people around the country.”

Identisys represents many manufacturers. For example, on the identification and credentialing side alone it represents Datacard, HID and Zebra. One of the challenges as the company grows is the fact that some manufacturers restricted the geographic areas where companies can sell, Ferril said. While she emphasized that Identisys has good relationships with those manufacturers, Identisys intends to grow regardless of manufacturers’ geographical limitations.

It’s all part of the balancing act of growing the company, “while making sure you don’t disrupt the solid business you have … and getting the last two [Claritus and Capital Card Systems] acquisitions integrated,” Ferril said.