Commercial firm buys into building market with purchase

Thursday, November 13, 2003

November 11, 2003

VALLEY COTTAGE, N.Y. - A security company heavily into commercial work has bought into the local home building market with the acquisition of a local residential firm.

With its purchase of Pro Tech Security Systems, Inter County Alarm Systems now serves about 5,200 accounts in Rockland County, an area where the two companies were once friendly competitors, said Earl Lorence, vice president and founder of Inter County Alarm.

"Pro Tec does a lot of residential prewiring in new homes, and has a lot of contact with the builders here," Lorence said. "Our specialty was more commercial."

Bringing Pro Tec and its builder relationships into the fold not only substantially grows Inter County's residential base but also opens a new window of business for the company, both in a new market sector and in a new geographic location.

While the booming new home market in Rockland County has become saturated, now building has stepped up in rural Orange County, where builders are gobbling up vacant land, Lorence said.

"We'd like to keep Rockland County as our service base but would like to expand," he said.

The combined company, with commercial base of about 1,500 customers and a now more substantial base of 3,700 residential accounts, will be based in Inter County's 4,500-square-foot building here, which the company owns. Pro Tec's four employees have also joined Inter County - three technicians and an administrative employee - to make a staff of 20, said Scott Lorence, president of Inter County. The purchase price of Pro Tech was not released.

While Inter County has made two other small purchases in the past, where the company picked up a group of 150 accounts and another group of 40, this is the first acquisition of a company, said Scott Lorence.

"We are actively seeking to do more acquisitions, mostly in the areas we predominately serve," Scott Lorence said. The company also covers northern New Jersey and Westchester County.

Inter County will be marketing the company under both names for an interim period, Scott Lorence said.