ABC’s latest move: adding the MDI name

Monday, November 1, 2004

SAN ANTONIO, Texas- American Building Controls has gone through another transformation and this time the change is with the company name.

In September, officials announced that the company adopted MDI Inc. as its new name. The company’s trading symbol on the Nasdaq stock market also changed to MDII.

The new name is but one in a series of changes at the company. In July, the company sold SecurityandMore and Industrial Vision to Mace Security for $5.65 million as part of its strategy to sell non-core businesses to focus on the access control line and ABM Data Systems, an alarm management software firm. A month later, it appointed J. Collier Sparks to the position of chief executive officer and president.

The company also recently consolidated, eliminating its Lewisville, Texas facility in favor of operations here and an engineering facility in Ontario, Calif.

Over the years, MDI Inc. has been known under several different names. Perhaps the most well known was the Ultrak brand. But after the sale of its CCTV business to Honeywell in 2002, the company had to come up with a new identity as part of the sale agreement.

According to Richard Larson, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at MDI Inc., the American Building Control name was selected to represent a broad base of products once offered by the company.

But that name offered little recognition in the market, he said. “We were certainly starting from scratch to develop name recognition,” said Larson.

Now with the sale of its non-core assets to focus on its access control line, Larson said the timing was right to make a name change. The company’s access control line has been in the market for 25 years and since it is the focus of the business, Larson said it made sense to link the MDI moniker used for the access control product with the corporate name.

“The core of our product offering now is the MDI security suite product,” said Larson. “We decided to change the name of the company and take advantage of the goodwill of that product.”