Oliver Fire Protection: new name, new acquisition in 2011

Pennsylvania company plans to grow organically and through more acquisitions in 2012
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.—Oliver Fire Protection & Security marked 2011 with a new name and a new acquisition. And the company, based here, plans more acquisitions in 2012.

Oliver in late December purchased Omni Alarms Inc. of Upper Darby, Pa., acquiring more than 300 commercial and residential accounts, said Russell Walters, executive VP/owner of Oliver.

On July 1, Oliver formerly changed its name to its current one. The company was founded 55 years ago as Oliver Sprinkler Co., but Walters said he started an electronic division called Oliver Alarm Systems in 2003, focusing on fire alarm, security, CCTV and card access systems. The new name covers both businesses.

“We decided to consolidate our marketing and call it Oliver Fire Protection & Security and just go to market with one brand … focusing on Oliver. That’s an important name in this territory,” Walters told Security Systems News.

He said the company completed two other smaller acquisitions in the past couple of years, purchases of two New Jersey companies with inspection accounts.

The deal with Omni, the specific terms of which were not disclosed, involves monitoring accounts located throughout southeast Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, Walters said.

He said about 40 percent of the accounts are commercial. Oliver anticipates providing those customers with services they didn't get from Omni, such as inspection services, alarm and sprinkler systems, kitchen hoods, fire extinguishers and maintenance contracts. “In addition to the immediate recurring revenue that we grab, we also have a lot of opportunities to integrate more vertically with those customers,” Walters said. “We’re going to have a team of salespeople call on those people and let them know what we have available.”

Omni was a family-owned company, as is Oliver. Omni’s founder, Robert Robinson, has retired, and his son, Daniel, is now a valuable Oliver employee, Walters said.

Daniel Robinson said in a statement: “Being an employee of Oliver and seeing how they provide excellent customer service, my father and I feel very confident in Oliver’s ability to keep our customers happy.”

Oliver, which has 175 employees and more than 3,000 customers, has a satellite office in Chester, N.J. It serves Philadelphia and other parts of Pennsylvania; New Jersey; Delaware; part of Maryland, and parts of West Virginia and New York.

In 2012, the company plans to grow organically, hiring more sales, administrative and field staff. It also plans two more deals this year in the 1,000-account range, Walters said.

“We’ve been very careful with our capital over the last five years … so without even having to go to a line of credit or issue any type of debt, we can do two medium-sized deals this year without even flinching,” Walters said.

He said the company believes the security market is “firming up” and it’s time to act. “We think it’s an opportunity to get first to market and get some more feet on the ground and do some building,” Walters said.