Alarm Detection Systems Acquires Safe Systems
September 1, 2015
Alarm Detection Systems Inc. (ADS), ranked No. 24 on the SDM 100, has acquired SDM 100 No. 59 Safe Systems Inc., a privately owned residential and commercial security business located in Louisville, Colo.
ADS had an annual gross revenue in 2014 of $35,657,642, while Safe Systems’ was $9,745,100. Their RMRs were $2,361,869 and $492,265 respectively, and their total numbers of subscribers were 26,845 and 11,829.
“In our 47-year history,” said Ed Bonifas, executive vice president of ADS, “we have made 65 acquisitions; Safe Systems is Alarm Detection’s largest acquisition to date. It reaches new real estate, and the cross-marketing potential is great.”
Bonifas said all 79 full-time employees at Safe Systems will stay in place, bringing ADS’ total full-time employees from 219 to more than 300; Safe Systems will continue to operate under the same name, as well. “We have wanted a backup central station site for a long time, and for it to be an acquisition of a company like Safe Systems was just icing on the cake.”
This merger allows ADS to expand its footprint beyond the Midwest area and into the western U.S. ADS installs and services security systems including fire alarms, burglar alarms, CCTV, and access control. The security systems are monitored from their Five Diamond-certified central monitoring stations located at its Aurora, Ill., and Louisville, Colo., business campuses.
The geographical separation of the two was especially attractive since, Bonifas said, it is unlikely that the same disaster would affect both locations. “Also, it gives us new territory to expand into. Safe Systems has been growing, and they show a consistent track record of growth.” Joining with a company that has a proven track record of success and growth is a great way for ADS to branch out, he said.
“They are both strong, regional owner-operated companies,” said Bonifas, describing the common synergies of the two companies. “We can deliver a higher level of service than big companies. People can call and talk to a real person. They may be different geographically, but they are parallel companies from a cultural standpoint.”
Bonifas said the acquisition, which was finalized August 31, 2015, was something that was a result of casual talks between Bob Bonifas, founder and CEO of Alarm Detection Systems, and Larry Halpern, the owner of Safe Systems. Eventually, said Ed Bonifas, Halpern asked how serious Bob Bonifas was about an acquisition, and the plans began.
“We are pleased to add the expertise and value that Safe System represents to our own 47-year history of quality operations,” said Bob Bonifas.
Under the agreement, Larry Halpern, the owner of Safe Systems, will be an integral part of the transition.
Halpern said, “We are very pleased that we were able to finalize a transaction with Alarm Detection Systems. Their emphasis on customer service and employee satisfaction makes me comfortable that they will continue to operate Safe Systems much as I have since I founded the company in 1982.”
SPP Advisors LLC represented Safe Systems in the transaction. Mark Sandler, managing director of SPP said, “Alarm Detection Systems was the perfect acquirer for Safe Systems. Both Safe and ADS have similar operating styles and philosophies. It was a pleasure working on this transaction.”
Citizens Bank, N.A. of Boston provided financing.
ADS will maintain Safe Systems’ existing corporate headquarters and central station in Louisville, Colo., as well as its satellite office in Colorado Springs, Colo., to support sales and growth throughout the region.
ADS participates in authorized dealer programs First Alert Professional and Edwards, and Safe Systems participates in DMP, First Alert Professional and Farenhyt.
This story is developing; check back for updates and further news about this acquisition.