Imperial Capital Group of Toronto, together with its partner OPTrust Private Markets Group, has completed an investment in Ackerman Security Systems. The Edmonds Group acted as exclusive advisor to Imperial and OPTrust in the transaction.

“The Edmonds Group played a key role for us in evaluating and negotiating the transaction,” stated Glen Silvestri, the lead partner from Imperial Capital on the transaction. “The Edmonds Group also ran our debt process and helped us design and achieve our preferred debt package on favorable terms.”

Headquartered in Atlanta and founded in 1976, Ackerman is a provider of security system installation, servicing, and monitoring. The company is ranked No. 22 on the SDM 100 and has a current RMR of over $3 million. According to a press release issued by The Edmonds Group, Ackerman’s track record of outstanding customer service and exceptional operational efficiency, combined with a unique value proposition, has allowed it to become one of the fastest growing companies in the industry.

When Charlie Ackerman retired in 2005, Bariston Partners, along with Sverica International, bought Ackerman, leaving management in place. In May of 2014, the partners began meeting with private equity groups as part of a planned exit strategy designed to make a return on their initial investment. “The offer from Imperial Capital and OPTrust made the most sense for Ackerman’s employees, our customers and our future,” said Jim Callahan, CEO, Ackerman Security Services.

Callahan said future plans for Ackerman include bulking up the current locations in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, and potentially opening new branches to serve the more than 120,000 existing customers in 48 states and Puerto Rico. “We plan to grow our commercial services and offer new technology to new and existing customers,” said Callahan. Some services Ackerman offers are smart home and remote technologies, allowing customers to control their alarm systems, lights and other services remotely from smartphones and other devices.

Callahan said the executive team will remain and explained the company’s key employee retention plan (KERP), designed to reward loyalty in employees and managers. “Our KERP paid out $490,000 in 2005; in 2015, we paid out over $1.3 million,” he said, highlighting the company’s growth and its anticipated growth after this acquisition.

Henry Edmonds, president of the Edmonds Group said, “The management team at Ackerman has created a very strong business. Imperial and OPTrust are value added investors. The combination will be very powerful.”

With assets of $16 billion, the OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust) invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with almost 84,000 members and retirees. OPTrust's Private Markets Group was launched in 2006 to build diversified private equity and infrastructure portfolios that will eventually account for 30 percent of the plan's total assets.

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