Security Service Company acquires Pennsylvania neighbor

Deal with Four Star Electronic Security brings $17,000 in RMR
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FLEETWOOD, Pa.—Security Service Company, based here, has acquired Four Star Electronic Security, a longtime provider of alarm monitoring, service and installation based in nearby Hamburg.

The deal, announced on Aug. 17, brings SSC about 750 new customers and more than $17,000 in RMR, according to Jim Long, vice president of operations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Part of the reason [the deal was attractive] is they’re right in our backyard,” Long told Security Systems News. “The accounts are all within a 20-mile radius of our headquarters.”

Merrill Arndt, owner and president of Four Star, said in a statement to his customers that SSC “will maintain the excellent service and affordability we’ve always provided, while also bringing a range of new technological options.” The company’s accounts were split roughly 80/20 between residential and commercial.

Long said SSC had been talking with Arndt for two years about acquiring Four Star, which began operating in 1968. SSC has been in business since 1973 and has its own CSAA Five Diamond central station.

“A lot of these guys, yes, they want the best money, but they’re really concerned about their customers,” Long said. “When they’re doing it for 30 or 40 years, they’re saying ‘Who’s the best fit for our customers?’ We’re the best fit—we do what they do. We’ve been around for 38 years ourselves, and right in the area.”

SSC offers former Four Star customers access to services they didn’t have before, including video monitoring and access control via mobile devices. SSC is a Honeywell/First Alert dealer and a new DMP dealer.

“One of the big things is our AES IntelliNet network, which offers radio transmission of signals,” Long said. “Most of the [Four Star] accounts are on phone lines, and phone lines are really degrading. It’s one of our nemeses, and yet it’s an opportunity.”

Long said SSC doesn’t have any other acquisitions in pipeline, but the company would consider another deal if the right situation arises.

“We’re not aggressive acquisition people,” he said. “This is big for us. If another one comes our way we’ll look at it, especially if it fits our market area. This is a real learning process for us.”