ADS acquires in Tennessee

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—ADS has a new platform for growth with the acquisition, announced Aug. 30, of Systems Unlimited of Jackson, Tenn.

“They’re a nice mix of 60/40 residential to commercial,” said John Cerasuolo, president of ADS. “And it’s a company with the single most recognized brand in the Jackson area.”

Cerasuolo declined to cite the terms of the deal or exact number of accounts that come along with the deal, but said it’s in the 1,000 to 5,000 account range.

The 20-year-old company was founded by former owner Keith Harvey, who will stay on as general manager and run the branch office, as will “every one of his team of 13 guys. There are six technicians, a couple of supervisors, sales and office staff,” Cerasuolo said. He said ADS likes to structure platform deals so that “the owner stays with us and runs the branch. We find they’ve got the right entrepreneurial spirit that drives our company.”

The branch will be co-branded with ADS for a year of so and then transition completely to the ADS brand. ADS has a presence that “goes right up to the doorstep of Memphis” and this new branch creates density in the area between Nashville and Memphis. ADS is continually looking for acquisition opportunities that will “fill in our Southeast region,” which currently includes 15 branches in the states of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Kentucky, he said.

“We want to connect the dots,” Cerasuolo said. “We’re always active and we’re always looking for deals, but the most important thing is finding the right fit. We walk away from a lot more than we pursue.”