Securitas gets into electronic security; Iverify doubles in size

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06/04/2014

In two separate, but related transactions, Securitas is getting into electronic security and Iverify is nearly doubling in size and adding new capabilities.

Guarding giant Securitas is making a concerted move into electronic security and “integrated guarding” with the purchase, announced June 2, of a 24 percent stake in remote monitoring firm Iverify. In a related move also announced Monday, Iverify bought 100 percent of the shares of commercial security and fire company TransAlarm.
 
Iverify is the Charlotte, N.C.-based full-service security company noted for its “high-touch remote security monitoring” offering. Sean Forrest recently joined the company as its CEO.

Securitas has offered  Iverify services to some of its customers for the past couple of years, Jim McNulty, EVP of Securitas USA told me. “We liked what we saw,” he said.

“We had our toe in the pool, now we’re jumping into the pool,” he said. Using Iverify, Securitas plans to roll out “integrated guarding services” across the country.  Integrated guarding is a mix of traditional guarding, mobile and remote monitoring services.  Securitas has 100,000 employees, 400 offices and does $3 billion in revenue annually.

This will update Securitas' offering, McNulty said, so it can "leverage traditional onsite guarding with mobile and remote services—to give customers a more efficient and higher value security offering."

In the second transaction, Iverify bought TransAlarm, which is based in Burnsville, Minn., just outside the Twin Cities. Now, with the goal of really boosting their national accounts business, the two companies are merging. Sean Forrest will be CEO of the combined company and current Trans Alarm CEO, Steve Champeau will become president.

Trans Alarm has 120 employees, combined with Iverify, there will be more than 300 employees. 

Like Iverify, Trans Alarm has a UL-listed 5 diamond certified central station. It has branch offices in Nebraska, Northern Wisconsin and Wyoming. It also has deeper capabilities in traditional security offerings such as intrusion, access control, CCTV than Iverify. On top of that, it has a network of installers located across the U.S. What it does not have, Forrest told me, “is the high touch remote video security monitoring that Iverify has. Conversely, Iverify didn’t offer the other services in a big way and didn’t offer fire at all.”

“This gives us a full spectrum to offer customers and significantly improves what we have to offer. The commonality between the two companies is that we’re both very customer-service focused,” Forrest said.

While Iverify bought 100 percent share of Trans Alarm, this is a merger of the two companies both Forrest and Champeau told me.

“We’re going to become one company. That’s a key step for us,” Forrest said. Sales and service will be cross-trained and “both companies will focus on a single point of contact, rather than branch delivery [approach taken by other companies],” Forrest said. This is not a fold-in purchase, he said. All offices and operations will be retained.

Forrest declined to give revenue or RMR figures. He did say: “Both companies have been growing at a rapid rate and we expect, on a combined basis, that that growth will be accelerated.”

Both Iverify and Trans Alarm have customers in the national retail, property management and transportation verticals.

Champeau said said that Trans Alarm has sold and installed Iverify technology even before the deal was announced. He looks forward to “getting into additional markets that we haven’t pursued previously [with the Iverify technology].”

McNulty is equally excited about the capabilities of the combined companies, noting that “they complement each other. Their combined offering will be a “good vehicle [for Securitas] to further the whole idea of integrated guarding.” He likes the fact that the combined company will have redundant monitoring capabilities. He is also excited about the “vetted, capable, trained and qualified installers that Trans Alarm brings.”

The offering of integrated guard services will be a “company-wide effort. … We’re going to roll it out all over the place.”

Securitas put this together this venture with Driehaus Private Equity, the majority owner of IVerify since 2006. Driehaus is a co-investor with Securitas in the deal. The PrivateBank provided Iverify with debt financing. Raymond James & Associate advised Trans Alarm.