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Joe Nuccio

Apollo lands Protection 1, ASG

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Apollo Global Management is about to take one giant leap into security with its May 19 agreement to acquire Protection 1 and ASG Security.

Under the agreement, the combined companies will operate under the Protection 1 brand, with Protection 1 CEO Tim Whall at the helm.

Security Systems News reported on the proposed deal last week. Here's that story.

I had a chance to interview Protection 1 CEO Tim Whall, CMO Jamie Haenggi and ASG's CEO Joe Nuccio last night. I was looking for details about how the new management might be structured, but that will have to wait until the deal is closed. The earliest possible closing date would be July, Whall said.

The May 19 announcement did not include proposed terms of the agreement, though $2 billion has been reported by Rueters.

Whall said that the “combination of Protection 1 and ASG instantly gives both companies a wider footprint where they each did not have one and a greater density in the markets where we overlap. There is a definite benefit for the customers as well as the employees. And given our like-minded approach to the operations, the combination will be a force in the marketplace."

Haenggi added that “the combination of the two companies creates a $40 million recurring revenue and over $600 million entity, with more organic growth and acquisitions on the horizon. It has never been Protection 1’s or ASG’s goal to be the biggest—it has always been both companies aim to be the best both for our customers and our employees.”

Whall, Haenggi and Nuccio all spoke about the benefits of having a private equity group the size of Apollo (this group manages $163 billion) involved in the security industry. When Apollo gets involved, other funds take notice, Whall said.

That means more resources for Protection 1 and potentially for other security industry companies.

I spoke with Michael Barnes, a partner in the consulting and advisory firm Barnes Associates, who is advising Apollo. I asked him about the people at Apollo who are behind the deal. Barnes said while Apollo is a huge fund with many employees, "the team that has been focused on the security alarm industry and driving these deals is relatively small. They are very smart and they cycle through tough decisions quickly. They should make a great partner for P1 and ASG."

How might the group from Apollo work with managment? Barnes said, "From what we can tell, their philosophy seems to be to pick the best horse and jockey and then let them run. To extend the analogy, I am sure they will influence things like what races they enter, but as long as they are winning they will likely just focus on making sure they have the needed resources and otherwise stay out of their way."

I posed the same question to the folks at Apollo in a couple of calls last night, but they declined comment.

Whall, Haenggi and Nuccio also spoke about how the new Protection 1—with the staff, expertise and client base and geographic coverage that ASG brings—will be uniquely positioned in the industry.

Haenggi said that Apollo has been studying the industry for some time. They liked that Protection 1 has "not only has the national footprint, but also the breadth of services and markets serving residential, commercial and national accounts," she said.  "Back in the day, there was ADT that had the size and breadth. Today, there is no one serving across all of these segments with the size of Protection 1. We are in a position to take that lead but do it with a decidedly ‘Protection 1 approach’ to business."

Barnes concurred with Haenggi, saying P1, especially with ASG added, is the largest industry player with "a business model on which most of the industry was built. That is, having a large commitment to specific geographic markets and a broad range of product and services aimed at virtually the entire spectrum of customer types—everything from low-cost, entry-level residential systems, including a DIY offering, all the way up to large-scale systems for the commercial and institutional segments.

Both companies also know how to acquire and consolidate smaller companies, Barnes noted. "This robust approach is in contrast to virtually all of the other large, national players, who are more narrowly focused, such as Tyco, Stanley and Diebold on commercial markets, and ADT, Vivint, and Monitronics primarily on the residential market."

What does Tim Whall say about Protection 1's expansion plans? Will it expand beyond the U.S. market? “I think it's safe to say that Protection 1 will hold not just a U.S. footprint, but a North American footprint," he said.

Asked about possible aspirations for a global presence, Whall laughed and said: “Well, before we talk international, let’s get this deal signed first and over the line—we’ll see how international we get, but I certainly would not rule out lots of growth from Protection 1 over the next several years.”

Private equity is no stranger to security, especially in the past two years. Recent deals include: Vivint to Blackstone, SAFE to ICV Partners, ACA to Norwest Capital, and most recently, Ackerman to Imperial Capital, Barnes noted. However, this deal stands out, he said.  "I can’t remember an investor like Apollo making a first step into the industry, on this scale, doing two transactions at the same time, and particularly with such a good fit between the two."

To attract private equity investors, Barnes said you "have to have all of the requisite pieces of the puzzle…size, capability, management, and growth. In addition, you generally have to have a strong overall industry opportunity, since one is effectively competing against all other possible investment opportunities." 

The long list of dealmakers involved in this transaction include: Financing is provided by Credit Suisse, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies and RBC. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal adviser to Apollo; Latham & Watkins LLP is acting as legal adviser to Protection 1; and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal adviser to ASG Security. Morgan Stanley and Raymond James are acting as financial advisors to Protection 1 and Goldman Sachs is acting as financial advisor to ASG Security. Barnes Associates is advising Apollo.

Vector’s Pamela Petrow named CSAA president

CSAA is ‘old boys’ club’ no more
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05/05/2015

VIENNA, Va.—Pamela J. Petrow, president and CEO of Vector Security and newly named president of CSAA International, has set her sights on changing the association’s image, improving value for members and increasing member involvement.

ASG’s buys Fleenor Protective Systems, adds 50 employees and UL-listed central

Managed services, SaaS ‘a huge part’ of strategy
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02/18/2015

BELTSVILLE, Md.—Super-regional ASG Security started 2015 with the acquisition, announced today, of Fleenor Protective Systems, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based full-service security company.

ASG buys in Texas and Connecticut

Acquisitions bring in an additional $150,000 in RMR
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10/08/2014

BELTSVILLE, Md.—Super-regional ASG Security added $150,000 in RMR via two acquisitions, one in New England and one in Texas.

ASG consolidates in South Texas, acquires Laredo Alarms

Super-regional now has RMR of $1.2m in South Texas
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07/16/2014

BELTSVILLE, Md.—In a deal that boosts its RMR in South Texas to $1.2 million, super-regional ASG Security has acquired Laredo Alarms of Laredo, Texas.

“We dominate in this part of Texas,” Joe Nuccio, ASG CEO, told Security Systems News.

ASG buys in Louisiana, Florida

Optimism abounds at ASG after auspicious Q1
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04/23/2014

BELTSVILLE, Md.—Bolstering its platforms in Louisiana and Florida, super-regional security company ASG on April 22 announced two acquisitions: Alarm Detection Systems (ADS) of Houma, La., and Amsafe Security Systems, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

ASG acquires National Alarm Systems, moves into new region

Brings $300,000 in RMR, allows ASG to ‘catapult growth’
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02/05/2014

BELTSVILLE, Md.—ASG Security has acquired a “platform for hyper-growth” with the Jan. 31 acquisition of National Alarm Systems of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a buy that will propel the super-regional to $10 million in RMR by the end of 2014, Joe Nuccio, ASG CEO, told Security Systems News.

CPI sues ASG, accusing it of ‘raiding’ CPI’s sales reps

ASG denies wrongdoing
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10/02/2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—CPI Security Systems, based here, has filed a lawsuit against the Alarm Security Group (ASG), accusing ASG of “raiding” sales reps from CPI by means of deceptive practices.

ASG closes four deals in Q2

Adds $114k in RMR and an office on Long Island
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07/02/2013

BELTSVILLE, Md.—In the past three months, ASG Security closed four acquisitions that bring an additional $114,000 in RMR.

Big buy, another new region in store for ASG?

CapitalSource leads deal, brings in three new lenders
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04/03/2013

BELTSVILLE, Md.—Anticipating new acquisition opportunities, ASG Security last week closed a deal to increase its credit facility by $20 million, to $270 million.

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