Interface Security sets course to double in size

The company is launching an aggressive campaign to grow into a large regional player
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Saturday, February 1, 2003

EARTH CITY, Mo. - Interface Security Systems may have wrapped up 2002 with 12 acquisitions and 20,000 new accounts on its books, but the company is not about to stop there with its acquisition spree.
This year, the company is launching an aggressive purchasing campaign that also features a unique dealer program, part of plans to become a major regional player and double in size to 80,000 customers.

“It’s all part of our overall strategy of growing to become the dominant company in the lower and upper Mississippi valley,” said Michael Shaw, chief executive officer of the full-service alarm company. Interface now has 40,000 customers, a majority of which are commercial accounts and include large, integrated commercial security systems.

Interface Security completed its latest round of acquisitions at the end of December with back-to-back deals. It brought on 500 new subscribers in the Memphis area, a mix of both commercial and residential customers, from Superior Security Systems. Another portfolio of 1,800 accounts was also added in Louisiana and Eastern Texas from Security Dealer Funding, a funding company that had accounts to sell.

Altogether the value of the 20,000 accounts Interface Security bought was approximately $13.5 million, Shaw said, with funds provided through an undisclosed amount of equity financing secured in late 2001.

This year the alarm firm intends to continue to fill-in its footprint of 13 branches, which now reaches from Illinois and south to Louisiana and Texas. Part of that will be accomplished through straight account or company acquisitions, while another element will come from its newly formed Interface Direct Professional Dealer Program.

Unlike other dealer programs, this one will focus on commercial and custom residential accounts instead of low-down or no-down security systems. The program will also serve as fostering relationships between Interface and alarm companies.

“We’re not changing our business model here to become a Monitronics or ADT in terms of a broad dealer program,” said Shaw. “We’re really looking for, to coin the phrase, a few good dealers who want to have a relationship with a local company.”

That relationship could involve the alarm company selling a few accounts to Interface periodically. But by establishing a relationship between the two companies, it could lead to a potential buy of the entire company should the business owner choose to retire in the future.

Another element allows dealers, if they choose, to focus on one element of their business, such as selling and service, while Interface would handle the product purchasing and installation.

“It effectively provides more opportunities for existing dealerships to build their business and become part of the Interface operating group,” said Joe Monachino, vice president of sales and marketing for Interface. “This is part of their ability to leverage our brand, depth and our resources and to help them grow their business and as well as partnering with us, to help us grow.”