ADS goes to Atlanta

Mel Mahler moves his super-regional into a major metropolitan area for first time. Looks to link through suburbs from Chatanooga to North of Atlanta
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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

NORCROSS, Ga. - With the Feb. 15 acquisition of SecurNet Protective Services, located here, ADS Security established an office in a major metropolitan market for the first time.
“For 18 years, our strategy has been to stay in the Southeast in second- and third-tier cities,” said Mel Mahler, ADS chief executive officer and chairman.
SecurNet, which brings with it 4,500 primarily residential accounts, is located in a northern suburb of Atlanta.
Mahler said he liked the area because “it’s just growing and upscale … I’ve always hesitated to go into a big city, and I’ll probably continue to avoid it, but in this case it was a unique opportunity.”
ADS has 65,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers and is headquartered in Nashville, with offices in Florida, Alabama, Kentucky.
With this toehold in Atlanta, Mahler said he would look at expanding in communities that lie on the outskirts of the city between Norcross and Chattanooga, Tenn., where he has another office. “If you look at a map you can see there’s one community after another … a lot of businesses and homes and that’s why we liked the opportunity.”
In addition, Mahler was well acquainted with the management of SecurNet, which is a “really high-quality company, with great customer service” that was formed by three former executives of Rollins Security nine years ago.
SecurNet provides design, installation, maintenance and service for security systems, access control, fire detection systems CCTV and “other electronically-based life and property protection systems.”Lamar Fuller, one of the founders of SecurNet is retiring. Co-founder Paul Dyson worked with ADS for 30 days to assist with the transition. The third founder, Gary Lewis, joined the ADS management team and will run the Norcross operation.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SSN