Ackerman reenters acquisition market

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

ATLANTA--Making its first acquisition in 10 years, Ackerman Security announced July 11 that it had acquired Impact Security of neighboring Dallas, Ga. Terms of the deal were not released.
In the last 10 years, Ackerman's growth has been strictly organic. This move signals a change in Ackerman's approach to growth said Jim Callahan, vice president of sales.
"We do have additional acquisition candidates and we are actively seeking more," he said.
Why the change? Callahan said that following a leveraged buy out of Ackerman, the company "now has capital available that it didn't have before." The buyout occurred three years ago and involved the five current principals of Ackerman: Callahan; Bruce Turry, chief executive officer and president; Jeff Cohen, chief financial officer; Bill Rawlings, director of operations; and, Mike Sandes, director of commercial sales.
At the time of the buyout, the business plan called for doubling the account base within five years (by 2009), Callahan said. In 2004, Ackerman had 28,000 accounts and today it has north of 40,000 accounts.
"We are well on the way to doubling our account base. We expect to be at about 56,000 accounts by the end of 2009," Callahan said.
The acquisition of Impact Systems brought with it 700 accounts. Impact was a good fit for Ackerman because "they were operating in the same space. We're not a mass marketer, we're a custom shop and their client base was similar," Callahan explained. "We also use the same Ademco products, which makes it simple from a service perspective."
Dallas is a suburb of Atlanta, and this acquisition is within Ackerman's footprint, which encompasses Atlanta and North Georgia.
Impact had its own central station, which has been shuttered; all of their accounts have been moved to Ackerman's UL-listed central station. The Impact accounts were about 75 percent residential.
"We switch out those yard signs and we've got a much larger presence in the Cobb County area overnight," Callahan said.
Mark Floyd, president of Impact Systems, has joined Ackerman as a senior security consultant.