Keltron enhances fire offerings with D&S buy

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

WALTHAM, Mass.-An enhanced spectrum of higher-end product offerings and access to the mainstream fire alarm market are among the benefits Keltron is gaining via its recent acquisition of D&S Technologies.

Keltron, a manufacturer of alarm receiving and monitoring equipment, was once a customer of Dedham, Mass.-based D&S. It stepped forward to purchase the former annunciator panels and enclosures company when D&S realized after 18 years that it was lacking capital to expand its product line.

"It was a tough decision to sell, but we had to face the reality. The level of sophistication in the fire alarm market and the fact it was growing so rapidly required additional resources," says Steve Stogryn, a former D&S partner who now works in sales for distribution company ADI. He will continue to work with Keltron on a consultancy basis, offering technical assistance.

Steve Sargent, director of sales and marketing at Keltron, was instrumental in orchestrating the deal, which he estimates could increase business at Keltron by 25 percent. Operations have moved forward quickly since the two companies had an established business relationship, as well as customers and a market with considerable overlap.

D&S sold equipment not only to Keltron, but also to dealers, national accounts and OEMs. Sargent further knew Stogryn through a trade association; in addition he worked on a specialized deal with D&S in Greece a few years ago. Keltron particularly admired D&S's expertise in annunciators.

"I knew them and I liked them. When I heard they were looking to get out of the business I told my bosses to go buy it," says Sargent, who noted this is the first acquisition Keltron has made in at least 16 years. "They had a complementary product line, which is getting us into the mainstream fire alarm business via classic distribution channels. Really, this is one of the best things we've done."

Since the deal was sealed in August, Keltron has absorbed the company, given them physical space and completely made them a division of Keltron which will complement its other mini-printer, municipal radio fire alarm systems, a sheet metal shop and other services divisions.

According to Sargent, the acquisition allows Keltron to make quotes for annunciators with highly sophisticated electronic controls. This allows Keltron to leverage its expertise in electrical engineering, circuit design and software.

In the coming months, Sargent says Keltron will continue to integrate D&S into the business, including all the internal processes. Keltron will do some cost accounting to get a better sense of what it will cost to produce different products and operate the business. It will also expand in the mainstream fire alarm market, as well as look to the future in control, process, remote and monitoring markets.