ASG acquires fire co to expand in Dallas

Thursday, March 8, 2007

BELTSVILLE, Md.--In a move that will "really build out our [Dallas] integration hub," ASG announced March 2, the acquisition of Abbot Security of Dallas.
Ralph Masino, ASG's chief financial officer, described the deal as a "model transaction" that "adds density to the existing market and significant fire capability to our Dallas operation."
Abbot specializes in large commercial fire integration projects and also has traditional burglar alarm accounts. The company brings 5,200 customers and $135,000 in RMR. Dallas is now ASG's biggest branch, with $750,000 in RMR.
"It's a 10-year-old company that's homegrown with an account base that was built in the right way, one customer at a time and who are very loyal," said Bob Ryan, ASG vice president of sales and marketing. Abbot has "design, project managers, a very experienced fire staff. The acquisition will allow us to take on larger projects and spin [Abbot's fire customers] into our specialty, big security integration projects."
Abbot's 24 employees, including former owner Kelly Gill, have joined ASG. Gill is leading fire sales in the Dallas market for ASG.
Abbot was not looking to be acquired. "Rory Russell [of Acquisition Funding Services] was instrumental in getting the seller to come out of the woodwork," Ryan said.
Russell sourced the transaction and represented the seller in the deal.
Gill said, "Until I started talking to Joe [Nuccio, chief executive officer of ASG] and Ralph, I worried about keeping the structure of company together, but the more I got to talking with them, the more I realized it would be a good match."
Gill and the other former Abbot employees are in the process of moving into ASG's Dallas branch office.
ASG's focus has been on developing the competency and resources of its three hubs in Texas and the Mid-Atlantic region. In the next 24 months, Ryan said, with the built-in capability for sales, design, installation and service in each of these hubs, the plans are to further build its commercial integrated services.
Speaking at the March 6 and 7 Security Growth Conference in Santa Monica, Calif., ASG CEO Nuccio said ASG expects to hit $3 million in RMR in 2007. "Our sweet spot is in that commercial engineered system, $25,000 to $150,000 [projects] is a nice place to play in," he said. "We're not going to do airports, but we'll do some pretty large projects, we're very structured in our fire business. We have a good, efficient commercial channel."

Sam Pfeifle contributed to this report.