Brink's explores commercial side expansion

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

RICHMOND, Va.--Signaling a departure from its traditional residential focus, The Brink's Company plans to expand the commercial side of its security business in 2006, Robert Ritter, The Brink's Company's vice president and chief financial officer, told Security Systems News.
In preparation, Brink's is adding key personnel and considering acquisitions, which it is well positioned to do, following the $1.12 billion November sale of BAX. (See the November issue of Security Systems News for coverage of the sale.) "The sale of BAX gives us the financial wherewithal to grow in different directions in security."
The company will continue to expand and invest in its profitable Home Security Division, Ritter noted, as it expands its commercial security offerings. Ritter said there are no firm targets for the percentage of growth on the commercial side at this point. Commercial is currently just a small slice--four percent in 2004--of Brink's security business.
Initially at least, the commercial business will run out of existing home security branches, he said. "We'll use similar products to move into light commercial projects," Ritter said.
"We're also in the process of bringing on onboard resources. By that I mean the right people [engineering and sales] who can help us with more sophisticated commercial business applications, such as CCTV, fire."
To grow the commercial operations, Brink's may acquire "a company or two" if the right company comes along. Asked if they were aggressively pursuing an acquisition, he said not "overly aggressively."
"Michael Dan [Brink's president and chief executive officer] has said on a number of occasions that he'd love to go out and acquire a company here or there to help speed us along the road of growing our commercial side," Ritter said.
The right company would need to have "good management that wants a platform to grow their business," he said. "That's not always easy to find."
"If we are able to match up with the right company or two that would be great. If it doesn't happen, that's okay and we'll just keep pushing along on our own," he said.