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Imperial Capital

ADT to acquire Devcon Security for $148 million

ADT looking for more acquisitions
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07/31/2013

BOCA RATON, Fla.—The ADT Corp. announced this morning that it plans to acquire Devcon Security from Golden Gate Capital for $148.5 million. The deal—ADT’s first major acquisition since spinning off from Tyco International last fall—brings 117,000 accounts and $3.6 million of RMR. The transaction is expected to close in early August, Naren Gursahaney, ADT CEO, said during an investor call today.

Infinova gets into DIY

Infinova to pay $87 million to Swann equity holder
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10/29/2014

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J.—Video surveillance provider Infinova is getting into the DIY market, with planned acquisition of Swann Communications, an Australian company that has offices in the United States.

Anixter to acquire Tri-Ed for $420 million

Anixter gets branch network, 20k dealers, intrusion and fire capability, access to resi and small business sector
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08/11/2014

GLENVIEW, Ill.—Today, Anixter International announced that it will acquire Tri-Ed for $420 million, so now Tri-Ed, which had aspirations to become a "billion dollar distribution business," will be part of a $1.7 billion security distribution company.

Possible Protection 1 buyers: PE firm, telecom or cableco

Pro 1 is reportedly up for sale with a $1.5b price tag, and an analyst tells SSN having an 'asset of this quality' on the market is unusual
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08/06/2014

YARMOUTH, Maine—Home security giant Protection 1 is up for sale for more than $1.5 billion, Reuters reported this week. Likely buyers could range from a top private equity firm to a telecom or cableco, an industry analyst told Security Systems News.

Google’s Nest buying Dropcam

The $555 million deal brings Google into the home security market with a DIY product, but what about the privacy of customers’ connected home data?
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06/23/2014

PALO ALTO, Calif.—First, Google got into home automation early this year with the $3.2 billion buy of smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest Labs. Now, Nest is buying startup Dropcam, which makes video cameras that stream video to a user’s computer or cellphone. The deal gives Google an entrée into home security.

Interface raises $115m

Installations for new retail customer with 8,000+ locations begin this month
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06/04/2014

ST. LOUIS—Interface Security Systems, an integrator that offers physical security with managed network solutions in a bundled service, has raised $115 million to fund growth that includes adding an important new retail customer.

Google’s Dropcam security push and Apple’s smart home “big play”—should security companies be worried?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Recent news reports say that Google may buy startup Dropcam, which makes video cameras that stream video to a user’s computer or cellphone, as a way to get into home security. And The Financial Times has reported that Apple is soon expected to make a “big play” into the smart home, launching a new software platform that will allow users to control security systems and home features such as lights directly from their iPhones.

Should security companies be worried? Not really, according to a report today from Imperial Capital, a New York-based full-service investment bank.

If the Dropcam report turns out to be true, it would mean Google is adding a security component on the heels of its entrance into home automation with its recent $3.2 billion purchase of Nest Labs, maker of smart thermostats and smoke alarms.

But the report, authored by Jeff Kessler, Imperial Capital’s managing director of institutional research, said it doesn’t believe the Dropcam purchase would have a negative impact on security companies or other pure play home automation companies, like Control4.

The reason, it says, is that “security companies generally are not participants in the do-it-yourself (DIY) market and do not target particular groups that may be interested in such products (e.g., college students, young professionals living in high rises).” Also, the report said, although “Dropcam could be a good entry product for those that do not understand or are not familiar with security products, it does not replace the security, home automation, and customer service capabilities which the likes of ADT or Control4 provide, and nor do we believe that it wants to.”

What about the potential Apple smart home/security play?

The report says: “We wonder if Apple will open up its “big play” to allow a broad base of installers, service, and responders to interact with it, or will it be another closed end system, in which the homeowner, or more likely the apartment owner, can check on what is going on at home on an Apple iPhone, and then have the responsibility of “making the call” to police or health responders based on what they have just seen on the iPhone. Another uncertainty is if the police would trust this system, or would law enforcement be more likely to respond to a more familiar source that has verified the same incident.”

The report summarized by saying that while the new developments are exciting and will be particularly attractive to those who don’t own homes, the lack of professional monitoring is a drawback.

“Remember, these monitoring stations (to be accredited) have to show that their average time to make a decision to dispatch or not to dispatch is less that 30-35 seconds, have tremendous redundancy, and can typically be trusted. We simply do not believe that Apple users will get that service.”

In fact, the report says that these DIY products could indirectly help professional security companies by introducing a younger generation to the idea of home security/home automation, which could lead those customers to “potentially switch to a larger, more powerful, and more comprehensive platform in the out years.”

Alarm.com, a leading provider of interactive security services, also weighed in to me on the new developments involving Google and Apple.

That Vienna, Va.-based company stressed that security is the backbone of the smart home and noted that professional monitoring is a key differentiator, but said security companies need to make sure homeowners know that.

"The key purchase driver for home automation is security.  We see this in both consumer surveys and purchasing trends," Alarm.com said, in a statement.

Also, Alarm.com said, the announcements "validate the popularity of a growing range of connected devices and services. Security dealers should tap into this underlying consumer demand by aggressively marketing and selling a complete range of connected home technologies with professionally monitored security at its core."

 

Kessler examines future of Monitronics

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Good news for Ascent Capital, the parent holding company of Monitronics, according to a recent research report conducted by Imperial Capital’s Jeff Kessler. The takeaway is that the monitoring company’s Q1 2014 earnings—$484 million in revenue, EBITDA of $321 million—were consistent with estimates and the company is “not experiencing impact from the entrance of cable/telcos."

As a result, Imperial Capital is maintaining the outperform rating and one-year price target of $94, about 43 percent above the company’s recent share prices, recorded in the report at $65.80.

The share price is being impacted currently by skittishness surrounding the big new market entrants, referred to as a “false negative perception about the competition from cable/telcos.”

“We believe that Ascent remains fundamentally strong and is not seeing any slowdown as a result of cable/telcos entering the security space,"  the report says.

As far as the new competitive landscape, Kessler believes traditional security companies remain Monitronics’ primary competitors. He also envisions something of a schism taking place between traditional large security companies and the newcomers who established themselves first in other industries.

The former, according to the report, will continue to command their share of business in the market for critical life safety systems, while the latter will bring to market more of a “home services,” lifestyle-focused package. The report said that existing skepticism about the “commitment to service” of the cable/telcos could hinder their ability to gain share from the largest security providers.

Kessler’s report was extremely thorough, full of many fascinating prognostications about not just Monitronics but the industry at large. Needless to say, a lone blog post can hardly do it justice. Here’s a sample sentence from the report that certainly piqued my interest:

“We believe smaller, undercapitalized security companies who do not have the capital to install Alarm.com or iControl wireless interactive systems may face real competitive threats.”

The report also touched on the implications of the enormous advertising budgets of the new market entrants, as well as the positive effects of Monitronics’ acquisition last August of Security Networks.

ADT to acquire Protectron for $500 million

Imperial Capital’s John Mack: Agreed upon deal is ‘far and away’ the largest deal for ADT as independent company
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04/30/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—In what will be its largest acquisition as an independent company, ADT has agreed to acquire Canada-based monitoring giant Protectron in a $500 million deal, giving the company another 400,000 customers north of the border.

ADT goes after small business

Orbegoso: Opportunity is significant; only 50 percent of small businesses have monitored security
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04/14/2014

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT is going after small business with targeted offerings for specific vertical markets, the first of which it launched on April 10.

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