United Technologies Corp. (UTC), Hartford, Conn., has announced plans to acquire Lenel Systems International Inc., Rochester, N.Y., a high-end security systems and software developer, for approximately $400 million. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory clearance, is expected to close in the second quarter.

“It’s a lot of money, but it’s a brand,” conceded Sandra Jones of Sandra Jones & Co., Chardon, Ohio. “The brand has equity, and those companies who aren’t leveraging brand need to start doing that because it adds value.

“Is it going to help them with their Chubb business?” she asked. “In real estate, it’s location. In the security industry, it’s implementation.

Lenel develops and delivers scalable, integrated security software systems and business solutions for the commercial and government security market. The privately held company employs approximately 150 people and has customers in 75 countries. It will report as an independent entity to Olivier Robert, president of UTC’s fire and security business, Chubb.

Robert said the acquisition of Lenel will provide access to innovative technology and market development capability in homeland security and other high-end integrated segments.

“Lenel has a large end-user customer base and a strong distribution network of value-added resellers (VARs) to deliver state-of-the-art integrated solutions,” Robert stated. “This is a highly effective market channel that will continue to serve Lenel well.”

Lenel’s flagship product is its OnGuard suite of security software products, which includes access control, smart cards, alarm monitoring, digital video, biometrics, intrusion detection and employee and visitor management capabilities.

“We are impressed with the vision and strategy demonstrated by UTC, and we believe that as part of this organization, Lenel will continue to deliver even greater value to our employees, customers and partners,” declared Elena Prokupets, president of Lenel.

Lenel was founded in 1991 by Elena and Rudy Prokupets. More than 8,000 Lenel security systems have been installed for clients that include more than half the Fortune 100, according to a UTC press release.

United Technologies is a $37 billion company whose products include Carrier heating and cooling (HVAC), Chubb security systems, Otis elevators and escalators, and aerospace, aviation and industrial products.