Accounts secure a quick turnover

Only months after buying, Devcon sells former Adelphia Security N.Y. accounts to Amherst Alarms
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Friday, July 1, 2005

AMHERST, N.Y.--A mere three months after Devcon International purchased Adelphia Security's assets, the company sold off the Buffalo, N.Y., portion of Adelphia's accounts to local firm Amherst Alarms in June.
Devcon purchased Adelphia's security division, which operated as Adelphia Security in New York and Checkpoint Ltd. in Florida, for $42.8 million while the cable company was entrenched in bankruptcy proceedings earlier this year. The deal added 57,000 residential and commercial subscribers to its security business, Devcon Security Services Corp., and provided the company with a platform for growth in the Southeast.
Identified as a non-core business by Devcon according to reports, the sale of the 2,500 New York accounts moved into the hands of Amherst Alarms. The company, which tallied 12,000 accounts before the deal, focuses on providing security services in western New York, which the company's Chief Executive Officer Tim Creenan said is a benefit for the new customers.
"We have pretty good name recognition in our area as opposed to a new company from out of state that they haven't heard from before," Creenan said. "The people are probably doing a good job down there, but wouldn't be familiar with the local community."
Amherst has already merged the Buffalo office into its office and added three employees to its existing 40-person staff.
"We probably will hire additional staff as we settle in and continue to grow," Creenan said.
Based in Buffalo, Adelphia, the fifth largest cable television provider in the country, entered bankruptcy protection in 2002 amid an accounting scandal. Officials say upper management overstated Adelphia's subscriber numbers--counting the company's 60,000 security subscribers as basic cable subscribers. The company began looking to sell off its non-core businesses in an effort to emerge from bankruptcy in 2004.
Adelphia's lackluster image is a hurdle Creenan acknowledged still hangs over the accounts.
"Adelphia was mostly a cable television company headquartered in Buffalo," Creenan said. "Then the bad press and publicity began to circulate."
Officials from Devcon did not return phone calls to Security Systems News prior to press time.
This is the second acquisition Amherst Alarm, which accounts for an equal mix of residential and commercial accounts, has completed this year. In February, it purchased Dotzler Alarm & Intercommunications--adding 500 accounts to its portfolio and increased the company's presence in western New York.
For now, the company is focusing on providing a smooth transition for the 2,500 customers who have experienced recent changes in ownership.
"After the account has been turned over twice in three months, they want to know what's going on and if they are going to be sold again," Creenan said. "But on the other hand, after they have talked to us if they weren't familiar with us, they see it is the best possible situation for them."