Last month, UTC Climate, Controls & Security announced the sale of its security integration business to private equity firm, Comvest Investment Partners. According to UTC, the business employs 1,350 people in 40 locations with approximately $250 million in sales and was made up of nearly a dozen small, U.S.-based integrators. Red Hawk Industries, one of the largest of those acquisitions, was bought by UTC in 2006. At the time, UTC reported Red Hawk employed about 800 people in the U.S. and had 2005 sales of $142 million.
The new business owned by Comvest will bring back the Red Hawk name and will be led by Mike Snyder, past president of ADT, as chief executive officer and Dean Seavers, previous president of GE Security and SimplexGrinnell, as president.
TSI eNews spoke with Snyder to learn more about this new integrator with a long history.
Q: What’s the make up of this business?
A: This business was made up of nine acquisitions UTC made. The two largest were Red Hawk and Detection Logic. And there were a bunch of smaller companies including Borden, NNSI, MPA, Counterforce, and New England Security. These were all acquired between 2004 or 2005 and 2010, approximately.
Q: Are you focusing on a regional, national, international footprint?
A: [Red Hawk] will be a U.S. company. We don’t have plans for international expansion at this point. It will be operated through around 45 offices around the country.
Q: What big changes will we see from this business?
A: Around 60 percent of the revenues were from fire alarm and services and about 40 percent were security services and that will continue. UTC was very focused on the roll-up of companies they acquired. We’re going to be focused on now starting to build those out: adding market channels, distribution channels, more products, certainly grow and extend our sales force. We’re going to take a hard run at organic growth.
Q: Which products do you represent in the marketplace?
A: In various areas we’re authorized Notifier dealers and EST dealers. We [work with] a variety of closed circuit television products — we’re one of the leaders in CCTV. We’re one of the largest suppliers of NCR ATM products and services. We have a full suite of technology.
Q: Are you interested in specific vertical markets?
A: We’re going to operate across the board. We’ll take a look at where we’re able to compete and focus there. It’s still really early to get a sense of where our advantages are. We’re trying to learn as much as we can about the company and its history, where we’re strong, and build around that.
Q: What kind of impact does this company aim to have in the industry?
A: We have great expertise in fire alarm and detection systems technology. We own a company called Counterfource in Houston, which is now a great operating monitoring station, but also want to offer cutting edge remote monitored video applications. What we want to do is take advantage of all our capabilities and craft the company to be more suited to the 21st century as opposed to the older, less current capabilities and the older, more established part of the marketplace. We really want to be number one in technology and the application of software and technology. We want to be able to use that breadth of expertise to really provide full business solutions.
Q: We’re seeing an increasing number of integrators report a focus on RMR, is that an approach Red Hawk will take?
A: The model for this industry has always been RMR-based. We want our pricing models and strategies to drive that. So it’s absolutely important to us. A couple of our smaller companies provide suites of managed services. We have great RMR opportunities there. The ATM business that we do is fabulous and again it’s an RMR opportunity. The managed central station services model based on video, whether it’s surveillance or guard tours or verified alarms will be very important to us. We’ll take a fresh look at all opportunities to test and see if there is customer need and build around those with the highest value to the customer.