ADS kicks off 2017 with an acquisition

Company had record year for acquisitions and organic growth last year
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Thursday, January 5, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—On Jan. 3 ADS announced its first acquisition of 2017: Falcon Fire Systems, based out of Summerville, S.C.

“We’re very encouraged by the success we’ve had in our commercial fire business, and the strong partnership we have with Honeywell has been a key factor in that growth,” John Cerasuolo, ADS Security CEO, told Security Systems News.

Falcon Fire Systems’ will become ADS’ 22nd branch office. The company is bringing on eight employees, including former owner Tim Cooney. Cooney is a 30-year veteran of the industry as well as board member and past-president of the South Carolina ESA.

“Tim’s built a great brand and we’re anxious to invest in him and his team and help him to grow that segment of the business,” Cerasuolo said.

ADS is currently keeping the Falcon Fire Systems brand, according to Cerasuolo. “We will continue to operate as Falcon in that market,” he said. “At this point, we don’t have an ADS presence in that market, so [rebranding is] not as imperative as it is in other acquisitions that we’ve done where we’re already in the market.”

ADS Security is 60 percent commercial and 40 percent residential. Cerasuolo said that the company is looking to grow in both segments, whether that means acquiring pure-commercial companies such as Falcon, pure-residential or a company with a mix of both.

The company had a record year for acquisitions last year, purchasing more than 9,000 accounts, but also saw considerable organic growth.

“We had our best year ever for organic growth in 2016,” Cerasuolo said. The company experienced organic RMR sales growth of 15 percent last year, adding $440,000 in RMR, according to Cerasuolo. ADS’ total RMR base grew to $3.2 million by the end of 2016.

“Across the board, both residential and commercial, we’ve been investing in our sales team through recruiting, training and support efforts. … We grew our sales force by double-digits last year,” he continued. Cerasuolo identified fire, video and access control as the best platforms for ADS in 2016.

Cerasuolo said he expects 2017 to be as good as 2016, but the company doesn’t have a target for acquisitions “because you just can’t … forecast how many of those opportunities you’re going to be able to execute on. But, we have a very aggressive effort to ensure that we’re in front of every owner and prospective seller in the Southeast, to let them know what we have to offer.”