UCC buys Red Hawk’s monitored accounts

Deal gives UCC 153 new alarm dealers and 20,000 new accounts
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Friday, July 11, 2014

SAN ANTONIO—United Central Control, a provider of monitored security services based here, has purchased the wholesale monitored accounts of Red Hawk Monitoring, a wholly owned subsidiary of Houston-based Red Hawk Fire & Security. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Through the transaction, UCC adds approximately 150 new dealers and 20,000 accounts, increasing the company’s monitored account base by roughly 9 percent. UCC now has more than 800 dealers across the nation.

The deal further expands the company’s presence in Houston, where it has its highest concentration of accounts. Mark Matlock, UCC’s senior vice president, said enhancing the company’s presence in one of its strongholds presents a major opportunity to showcase its value to new dealers, and to expand its already strong referral network.

“We’re eager to show these new dealers in Houston what we can do,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of services to offer them … and we’re focused on putting tools in the hands of dealers to help them succeed. By doing that we will create raving fans, which will create referrals for us.”

Matlock believes the tools UCC can offer through its SGS Stages platform can provide immediate, tangible value to new dealers, allowing them to take advantage of business management apps they didn’t previously have. The incoming dealers will now have access to apps for testing and managing the account base, as well as web portals that make it easier to access key business information, Matlock noted.

The deal is also a victory for law enforcement, Matlock pointed out, because it brings another 7,000 accounts into Houston’s ASAP to PSAP program, giving UCC the highest concentration of ASAP accounts in that city.

Ron Bowden, UCC’s recently appointed head of dealer development, said that while the lion’s share of the dealers are from Houston or within Texas, the move also brings in dealers from as far east as Florida, as far north as Ohio and as far west as California.

Bowden, who played a key role in finalizing the deal, said he’s been involved in a lot of acquisitions, some good, others less so. This purchase, he said, was “terrific because of all the cooperation we had from the Red Hawk team. Not just during negotiations and signing, but even now after the acquisition in terms of teamwork and cooperation. … We look forward to working with them over the next year integrating all this business into our platform.”

The fact that four current UCC employees, including Matlock himself, were former employees of Counterforce USA, the former name of Red Hawk Monitoring, meant “we had existing relationships with a lot of those dealers,” Matlock said.

Red Hawk Fire & Security formed as a company in 2012 when Comvest Investment Partners acquired the security and fire branch operations of UTC Climate, Controls & Security.

Bowden, who was part owner of UCC in the 1980s, believes the company is surging, and says it’s amazing to reflect on its evolution from the early days. “From the early 80s to now, it’s like looking at a car and a space shuttle,” he said. “The changes have been extraordinary, and it’s been a lot of fun.”