ISR Solutions’ purchase is first in years

Its geographic reach isn’t the only item that appealed to ISR about The Comm Group
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Saturday, May 1, 2004

CHANTILLY, Va. - Systems integrator ISR Solutions saw both its geographic reach and wallet grow in late March, the results of a dually announced acquisition and $11 million equity investment.

For ISR Solutions, the acquisition of The Comm Group marks its first purchase since 1999. The company has spent the past five years focusing on internal growth, opening approximately seven new locations along the East Coast.

“This is really a very strategic acquisition for us,” said Joe Costa, president and chief executive officer of ISR Solutions.

The purchase price was not released, but part of the $11 million equity investment ISR Solutions received from The Carlyle Group and Fairfax Partners will be used to pay for the deal. The remaining amount will also be used to fund future growth.

By acquiring The Comm Group, ISR Solutions gains a presence in the western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio markets and expertise in telecommunications, structured cabling and life safety systems.

ISR plans to eventually roll out that expertise at its locations nationwide, a plus for The Comm Group since it enables the integrator to contribute more than just a new branch.

“We were approached by a number of businesses that just wanted to expand their footprint,” said Joe Hieronimus, vice president of The Comm Group and one of four owners. “A couple of partners here had been involved in acquisitions in prior lives and we understand how it can feel to be a smaller cauge in the machinery. This was different.”

The Comm Group, on the other hand, saw its reach grow exponentially as a result of the deal. “This is going to give us a national presence,” said Mike Bieda, vice president of engineering for The Comm Group and a shareholder.

Including The Comm Group, ISR Solutions now operates from 14 locations. Some of its more recent additions include branches in New York, Richmond, Va., Atlanta and Tampa, Fla.

Costa said all four former shareholders of The Comm Group have agreed to remain with the company. Along with Bieda and Hieronimus, other shareholders included Dan Robbins and Paul Caruso.