ADS solidifies move into Florida with acquisition of Melbourne company

Thursday, October 4, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--ADS Security solidified its presence in the Sunshine State with the acquisition, announced Oct. 1, of Melbourne-based Advanced Detection Systems.
The purchase is part of ADS Security's strategic plan to expand in the southeastern region. In addition to Tennessee and Florida, ADS has offices in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky.
ADS first moved into Florida in 2006, when it purchased accounts from Westco Security Systems in Ft. Walton Beach (search "Mahler marches south" at
The Melbourne acquisition, terms of which were not announced, brings with it 2,400 accounts, roughly a 70/30 percent split between residential and commercial accounts, according to Alice Walden, former owner of Advanced Detection Systems. Walden has joined ADS Security as general manager of the Melbourne office.
Her 33 employees have been retained by ADS, and both her employees and her customers will notice little difference in the day-to-day operations of the company, she said. This continuity was important to Walden when she considered selling her business to ADS. "ADS has shown they value the customers in the local area and they want to continue to provide them with local service. They also value our employees," she said.
Walden, who started Advanced Detection Systems with her husband in 1985, said being affiliated with ADS will give her employees and her business the opportunity to expand.
"We have a good commercial base already, but, [working with ADS], we will have the expertise to tackle larger projects; we will also have the management know-how to go after these jobs," she said.
Advanced Detection Systems does security, fire and CCTV work. ADS now has more than 60,000 commercial, institutional and residential customers. Ernie McDaniel, ADS chief financial officer, noted that there's still "lots of room to expand in the southeast." He said ADS has a goal of "growing 10 percent organically and 10 percent through acquisition annually."