APi acquires two fire companies

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

NEW BRIGHTON, Minn.—APi Group, a $1.5 billion holding company, which owns more than 18 fire protection companies, announced this week two acquisitions: Island Fire Sprinkler of Bohemia, N.Y., and Reliance Fire Protection of Baltimore, Md.

Terms of the deals, which were completed before the end of 2009, were not announced.

The acquisitions increase APi’s density and capabilities in the New York metropolitan area and brings the company for the first time into the D.C. metropolitan area.

Other than having a new owner, very little will change in the day-to-day operations at Island and Reliance, said Audrea Bellard, APi communications and marketing manager.

APi wants to retain the “entrepreneurial spirit” in companies it acquires, Bellard said. “We don’t change a company’s logo, name or leadership, we do not change how they operate their business,” she said. Instead APi acts “as a support system. We can help with training, leadership, development and buying power.”

Island Fire Sprinkler specializes in the design and installation of sprinklers in high-rise buildings in New York City.  It was founded by president Brian McMahon in 2003, “with an established network of local general contractors and an in-depth knowledge of the top union talent,” according to a statement from The March Group, which assisted with the sale. “McMahon brought in more than $3.5 million in its first year of business” and has continued to grow, the statement said.

APi owns two other sprinkler companies, which may, in some ways, be considered competitors with Island. However, Bellard said that each has their unique capabilities and as part of APi they’re able to collaborate on jobs and referrals.

Reliance Fire Protection, believed to be the second largest union contractor and the second largest fire protection contractor in the D.C. metropolitan area, was founded in 1987 and has 100 employees.

In addition to its 18 fire companies, APi owns 12 other industrial and specialty construction companies. APi expects to acquire “four to five companies in 2010.”