Business relationship turns into a case of acquisition opportunity

Saturday, May 1, 2004

EXPORT, Pa. - A manufacturing and distribution alliance between American Auto-Matrix and access control company ControlSoft has evolved into a new relationship, with American Auto-Matrix recently buying that business.

The acquisition, announced in late March, is part of American Auto-Matrix’s strategy to provide integrated, smart building solutions. The company began embarking on that strategy last year after a management led buyout.

“We believe in integrated, intelligent building solutions,” said Paul Jordan, chief executive officer and majority owner of American Auto-Matrix. “By buying ControlSoft we can control the technology and integrate that with our core HVAC product.”

ControlSoft, based in the U.K., has provided door controllers, keyfobs and readers for 10 years. It was owned by holding company Integrated Security Systems. The purchase price was not released, but the deal included hiring ControlSoft employees.

American Auto-Matrix and ControlSoft began working together more than two years ago. American Auto-Matrix not only signed on to distribute Con-trolSoft’s product in North America, but also produced the company’s products from its manufacturing facility.

“They’d been manufactured here for the past two years,” said Steve Gavlak, director of marketing for American Auto-Matrix. “It only made natural sense to acquire it.”

Now with the KeyMaster line of products, American Auto-Matrix plan to improve the product line’s capabilities and integration with other systems. For example, Jordan said the plan is for the access control system to act as a trigger for HVAC functions.

“When the last person leaves, it would shut down the AC or the lights,” he said. “Right now most of those things are controlled by schedule.”