PSA Security acquires USAV and CI Edge

Deal helps to accelerate PSA’s growth in the ProAV sector
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—PSA Security Network, a global electronic security cooperative, announced this week that it has acquired USAV, a close-knit team of professional audio-visual (ProAV) integrators. USAV’s affiliate CI Edge, a buying group designed to support middle market commercial technology integrators, was also acquired as part of the transaction.

Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network, told Security Systems News that PSA had been looking closely at growing its presence in the ProAV market for quite some time, with a formal announcement in November 2016.

“The original plan was to grow the ProAV side of things organically, which included an organized funded program, but then the USAV opportunity became available, which allows us—instead of a slow build-up organically—to ramp up immediately with an existing group of ProAV integrators and an existing group of ProAV manufacturers.”

Bozeman pointed out that USAV is a premier ProAV membership organization that bonds independent member companies into an elite industry team. Founded in 2001, USAV has 57 Integrators throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as partnerships with 19 top ProAV suppliers and six service providers. In 2016, USAV integrators collectively serviced 88 percent of the top 25 major metropolitan areas and 84 percent of the top 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S. CI Edge was founded by USAV’s executive team in 2015 as the only buying group for small and midsized commercial integrators.

“Most of our resources are focused on our core competency, which is physical security, but we also wanted to bring in additional products, services and opportunities to our integrators, our vendors and PSA as a corporate entity as well,” said Bozeman. “[USAV’s] vendor relationships and integrator business models are right in step with what we were looking for in a partner in the AV space. With the low voltage integrator industry continuing to expand and consolidate at a rapid rate, we strongly believe that these two companies will be a perfect addition to the PSA family.”

USAV and CI Edge will continue to operate under their respective brands and the existing management team at USAV will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the AV business. K.C. Schwarz, CEO of USAV, and Chris Whitely, founder and CFO of USAV, will join PSA’s management team. Schwarz brings more than 30 years of technology experience, with 11 of these in the AV industry, and Whitely brings to bear 24 years of finance, accounting, and technology experience, with 16 of these in the AV industry specifically. USAV will operate out of PSA’s main corporate office here.

“That was the key to the deal,” said Bozeman. “What I like about USAV is not only do we get access to the top-dog ProAV manufacturers but we get a very high quality management team that has great experience in ProAV with Chris Whitley and K.C. Schwarz, who are both staying with PSA. I would not have done the deal without them, because they are the best in the industry and are first class.”

Schwarz said in the announcement, “We are excited for this new step in USAV and CI Edge history. USAV and CI Edge were founded on the premise of providing programs that help integrators improve their overall effectiveness. Now members will benefit from PSA’s broadened platforms in new and exciting ways.”

In the announcement, Whitley added, “Since the beginning USAV has focused on long-term partnerships with integrators, manufacturers, and distributors. This new chapter with PSA will continue such focus and expand our collaboration efforts with their infrastructure and dedication to education and training.”

Bozeman said that there is increasing crossover between ProAV and security.

“The video wall space and the digital signage space are converging rather quickly and we are seeing more and more video walls and communications via video, such as digital signage, on the larger projects, so PSA integrators will now have access to the newest products and services and expertise,” he said, emphasizing that “this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. This is years of hard work and dedication and commitment on our part to the ProAV niche.”

PSA Security Network is owned by integrators throughout North America, and combined, PSA members boast more than 300 branch locations, employ nearly 6,000 security industry professionals and are responsible for over $3.5 billion annually in security, fire and life safety installations.