Video firm makes second buy

VideoMinex plans to become dominant video provider
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Saturday, February 1, 2003

FITCHBURG, Mass. - A remote video monitoring company that dominates the income producing real estate market has been bought by another video monitoring firm, based here.

The acquisition of Remote Video Patrol, a three-year-old company based in Denver, was the second purchase in 2002 for VideoMinex, a company on the acquisition path with hopes of becoming the dominant provider in the video arena, said Mike May, VideoMinex president.

Formed in late 2001, the company’s first move came in early 2002 when it bought Houston-based Interstar Systems, another video-based company with a monitoring center, for $5 million. Along with the physical location and employee base, the cornerstone of that acquisition was a proprietary software platform that funnels signals from existing burglar and fire alarm systems as well as video and audio into one interface for central station personnel.

“We will continue to use the brands, but we anticipate ultimately consolidating them into some type of overreaching brand,” May said.

Through its state of the art central station, housed in the Massachusetts Innovation Center, an incubator for small technology businesses, VideoMinex had already been providing monitoring and management services for Remote Video Patrol on a contract basis, May said.

Remote Video Patrol, which bills its services as a guard replacement solution to the income producing real estate market, will continue to operate as wholly owned subsidiary of VideoMinex, company officials said. That company’s technology brings together video and audio command technology.

“By VideoMinex acquiring RVP, it gave us a platform to expand in accordance with market demand,” said Philip Wayne, president and founder of RVP. Some of the most notable changes for the company will be a significantly larger marketing campaign as well the expectation that RVP will be able to double its monitored account base, Wayne said. The company is currently monitoring about 70 projects, he said.

Joe Freeman, an industry analyst and principal at J.P. Freeman Co., said that marketing the RVP and Interstar names will be a “big piece of the puzzle” but that other significant risks include the cost of the initial investment and the high fees company need to charge to recoup that investment.

“Beyond that, it should be fairly easy sailing, because everybody in the end is going to want video monitoring because it’s so far superior to alarm monitoring,” Freeman said. “The sector is wide open.”

The Interstar software will serve as the basic platform of VideoMinex’s monitoring services, with concepts from Remote Video Patrol’s technology woven into the platform. From that, VideoMinex plans to develop additional applications for its video technology both inside and outside the security realm, May said.

At press time, the company was expecting to close on two additional acquisitions over the next few months and was working to close on a multi-million dollar equity round with a Virginia-based investment banking firm.