Protection 1 acquires two commercially focused companies

'Siteview' App newest offering for national accounts customers
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ROMEOVILLE, Ill.—Protection 1 acquired two commercially focused companies in August, deals that build density in Alabama and New Mexico and fit into Protection 1’s drive to grow its commercial/national accounts division into a $100 million business.

Protection 1 acquired Advanced Solutions of Montgomery, Ala., a 90 percent commercial company, and Central Alarm of Las Cruces, N.M., a 55 percent commercial company. The deals include 2,000 accounts and important staff resources, according to Jamie Haenggi, Protection 1 CMO.

“Over the past 12 to 18 months we’ve moved the core commercial business upmarket,” Haenggi told Security Systems News. The company is augmenting its traditional core of small-business customers with generally larger businesses that require more integrated access, CCTV and larger fire systems. Leading that effort is Chris BenVau, a former SVP of national accounts for Stanley, who joined Protection 1 as VP of commercial security in December 2011, Haenggi said.

In 2010, Protection 1 CEO Tim Whall said he wanted to take the company’s national account business from about $7 million to “upwards of $100 million in the next three years.” Haenggi said that during the past two years, the company has experienced “triple-digit growth [in its] commercial business combined with national accounts.”
 
“We’re on track for that [$100 million] number,” she said.

Haenggi pointed out that the business was “not on an upswing” prior to the acquisition of Protection 1 by GTCR in April 2010. The past two years have involved “flipping the momentum and catapulting growth from there,” she explained.

Among Protection 1’s national account efforts is the introduction this month of SiteView, a new app that enables images of equipment installed at national account locations to be stored on eSuite, Protection 1’s customer Web portal. The portal allows security directors for national account customers to view reports of site equipment inventory, and the new app enables them to see the equipment.

The two acquisitions bring more than 10 employees with technical skill sets, along with the former owner of Central Alarm, Tony Pryor.

“Tony has taken a role as a commercial sales rep and will lead that particular market,” Haenggi said. Protection 1 has 65 locations across the country, and acquisitions like these build density and provide additional support in local markets.

Protection 1 is taking a close look at acquisition opportunities that fit its model, and there has been a notable increase in the number of opportunities, Haenggi said.

It’s generally agreed that there have been about 13,000 competitors in the security marketplace for at least the past 20 years. Consolidation has been ongoing, yet the number of competitors has remained about the same. What’s happening now is that business owners who have started and sold several businesses “are ready to step out of the industry and retire,” Haenggi said, or they don’t want to make the technological investments necessary to stay on top of the business and want to sell to a larger player like Protection 1. In many of those cases, they can stay on in a general manager or account manager role.