Per Mar Security picks up Arrowhead

The acquisition gives Per Mar locations in two mid-sized Midwestern markets
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Monday, April 1, 2002

DAVENPORT, Iowa-Midwest alarm company Per Mar Security picked up a two-location security company in early February, an acquisition that gives Per Mar 19 locations in at least five states.

Per Mar's purchase of Arrowhead Security Systems, based in Duluth, Minn., also adds a mix of 3,000 residential and commercial customers as well as office locations in Duluth and Grand Forks, N.D., important geographic areas in the company's Midwest market.

"This gives us an opportunity to expand into a new area where we did not previously have much of a presence," said Bill Jackson, president of Per Mar.

The company also operated a central station in Duluth, but Per Mar plans to close the central station and transition the accounts to Per Mar's monitoring facility at its headquarters here, Jackson said. Arrowhead's Grand Forks location was called Life Alert Security Systems from a prior Arrowhead acquisition, Jackson said. Both locations will become part of Per Mar's operations; the company absorbed about 30 of Arrowhead's employees, including service technicians, central station operators and sales staff.

An important facet of the sale was Arrowhead's locations in two mid-sized Midwestern-cities, markets where Per Mar's business has had success.

"Our business continues to grow in the secondary and tertiary markets," Jackson said, in cities like Duluth, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Racine, Wis., and Quincy, Ill. The company does well in those markets in part because mass marketers frequently ignore the smaller markets in favor of more densely populated areas, Jackson said.

Arrowhead was sold by its long-time owners Charlie and Mary Grubb, who owned the company for 31 years. The couple's daughter, Kathy, Arrowhead's operating manager, will become Per Mar's general manager of the Duluth branch; another daughter, Jean Stenberg, also remains with the company working as a customer service representative.

"Per Mar was a really good fit for us, and they have a lot of the same values as far as caring for customers that we did," said Kathy Grubb. Her parents sold the business in order to retire, she said. The company was about 60 percent commercial.