Acquisition will boost Per Mar's fire business

Saturday, April 1, 2006

DAVENPORT, Iowa--Per Mar president Bill Jackson said the acquisition of Associated Security of Madison will serve two purposes: boost its fire business subsidiary, Midwest Alarm Services, and add more traditional home security accounts to the Per Mar operation in that city.
Per Mar, a full-service security company with offices throughout the Midwest., completed the acquisition on Feb. 1. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Associated brings about 800 accounts; its business is 85 percent fire and mostly commercial.
The deal enables Per Mar to "jumpstart [its wholly owned subsidiary] Midwest Alarm Services in the Madison region," Jackson said.
Like Midwest, Associated focuses on fire and is a Honeywell Notifier distributor. "We see this as a growth opportunity for Midwest," Jackson added.
Before the acquisition, Midwest had 23 employees and three offices located in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa. It had one employee in both Wausau and Eau Claire, Wis.
All 16 of Associated's employees will be retained. The former owners of the company, James Sullivan and Dennis Schultz, "sold because they were ready to retire," said Midwest Alarm Services president Dustin Smyth.
"All of our growth up until Feb. 1 was through organic growth," Smyth said. "When I joined the company in 1998, we had six employees. With this acquisition, we've grown by quite a bit; we now have 40 employees," he said.
Prior to the acquisition, Per Mar had two established divisions in Madison: its electronic security division and its physical security business. While most of Associated's operations will become part of Midwest Alarm Services, "about half of [Associated's] accounts are traditional burglar alarm accounts, both commercial and residential. Those will be transferred to Per Mar's electronic security division branch there," Jackson explained.
Within the next year, the two Per Mar divisions and the new Midwest Madison office will move to one building, Smyth said.
Per Mar also hired two key employees since Feb. 1: Lou Stiles, as general manager, and Joe Gage, a sales person. Stiles will oversee the Madison Midwest operation, and the two Per Mar divisions located there. Stiles will report to Smyth.