Allied Security moves into top guard spot

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Thursday, July 1, 2004

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Allied Security continues on its path to building the largest guard service company based in the U.S., announcing in late May plans to buy Barton Protective Services, a company with $300 million in annual revenue.

The combined companies are expected to produce $1 billion in annual revenue and employ 37,000 people. The deal is scheduled to close in early August.

According to Jack Mallon, managing director of Mallon Capital, the merger helps to fill the void left when well-known guard companies Pinkerton, Burns and Wackenhut were bought buy European entities.

“The opportunity is there to build a strong, U.S.-based guarding operation,” said Mallon. “That appears to be the objective.”

Allied Security has been consistently buying smaller guard companies for the past several years. Within the past year it bought two regional guard companies - Professional Security Bureau, a guard firm in Nutley, N.J., with revenues of $97 million and Security Systems , a Malden, Mass.,-basedcompany that reported revenues of $18 million in 2003.

Allied Security began on its growth strategy long ago, when it was known as SpectaGuard and served mostly the Northeast region. In 2000, the company bought Allied Security, a $190 million a year business, and adopted that name.

Tom Ward, chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Barton Protective, characterized the transaction as a merger of companies. He said Barton was looking to grow and combining resources with Allied Security provided that opportunity.

“ We now have coverage in markets that we didn’t have previously,” said Ward. He noted that one of Barton’s strength is in the Southeast, while Allied Security is strong in the Northeast. “Now in those markets combined, we become one or two.”

The companies also share similar philosophies, according to Al Berger, chairman of Allied Security, focusing on employee development and customer service.

Greg Bortz, senior vice president, investment banking global business and professional services group at Lehman Brothers, characterized the two businesses as complementary, not just in geographical footprint, but in the markets each serves.

Barton Protective is strong in the Class-A office building market, while Allied Security focus is on commercial facilities.

“Together I think their reputations will only be enhanced,” said Bortz, who represented Barton in the deal. “It also creates the largest American-owned guarding company in North America, which I believe is of significance.”

Once the deal is completed in early August, the combined companies will serve 2,150 customers across the country. For now, plans call for Allied Security and Barton Protective to retain their names.