Vision Security gets new $35m credit facility, new president

Loan from The PrivateBank creates new opportunities for door-knocking company; CFO Dan Noble gets promotion
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

LAS VEGAS—Vision Security’s new $35 million credit facility will strengthen the company’s unique “hybrid” business strategy of being both Security Networks’ leading dealer and retaining some accounts in house, according to Vision founder and CEO Rob Harris.

“This new credit facility allows us to keep more of the accounts we create,” Harris told Security Systems News at the ISC West show, held here last week. “Whereas in the last few years we’ve created a lot of accounts, we’ve been limited on how many of those we could actually keep in house due to the debt we had available, so this credit facility removes some of those limitations.”

The Orem, Utah-based door-knocking company’s goals for 2013 are to grow accounts and RMR, Harris told SSN.

“We want to about double our RMR this year and we’re projecting about 20,000 accounts for the year,” Harris said. “Based on our projections for this year, we anticipate growing by about 18,000 accounts in house and north of $800,000 in RMR.”

The company currently has 9,200 accounts and about $470,000 in RMR, he said.

Vision’s total senior debt is now $35 million, Harris said. He said the company refinanced $8.1 million of previous debt as part of the new facility.

Vision announced April 8 that it had closed on the new loan transaction with The PrivateBank and Trust. PrivateBank is the only bank involved in the deal currently “but we have started discussions with additional banks and we anticipate bringing them in as soon as possible,” Harris said.

The refinancing news followed a separate announcement that Vision has promoted its CFO, Dan Noble, to the position of president.

Harris called Noble “a great guy” who has been instrumental in the success of the company, founded in 2006.

“He’s got such a great mind for business and for operations and accounting and finance. He’s very well-rounded,” Harris said. “He was very much operating as a president of the company before the promotion, so the promotion was more of a formality, really. He’s a top guy who takes ownership of helping the company grow.”

Noble told SSN he joined Vision in 2007 and that the company signed up with West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Security Networks in 2008. He said Vision has been Security Networks’ largest affiliate from the start.

Security Networks has what it calls an “affiliate business model,” partnering with independent companies—dealers—who represent it in selling and installing alarm systems.

Noble said Vision pursues a “unique” and “hybrid” business model that puts it “between a dealer and holding all of our accounts.”

Harris called Security Networks “a great partner ” that helps Vision keep its leverage low.

“We continue to fund accounts through Security Networks,” he said. “In doing that, it helps us increase some revenues to the business and subsidize the creation cost of the in-house accounts we do keep so when we do have to borrow from the banks, we don’t have to borrow as much as other companies would where they’re keeping 100 percent of their accounts. That’s the idea, keeping our leverage low so that … we have more equity in the business.”

The company has experienced significant growth, Noble and Harris said.

In 2012, Vision grew to $31.1 million in revenue from $19.4 million in 2011, according to a company statement. Vision serves more than 60,000 premium subscribers, it says.

Looking into the future, Harris said, “It’s a fun time and we couldn’t be more excited.”

He added that as Vision retains more accounts, it will focus even more on providing excellent customer service. “There’s no point in keeping accounts in house if you can’t manage attrition and keep your customers happy, so that’s a big, big focus in the business and the company right now,” Harris said.