CooperWheelock pays $43m for MadahCom

Thursday, May 3, 2007

HOUSTON--Cooper Industries, $5.2 billion global manufacturer of mostly electrical products--parent company of CooperWheelock, a provider of fire and security notification systems--announced May 1 the $43 million acquisition of MadahCom, a Sarasota, Fla.-based manufacturer of wireless emergency control and mass notification systems.
Jon Safran, Cooper Industries' directors of investor relations, said Cooper was attracted to the "high technology content of MadahCom's product offering and its exposure to good growth end markets in the civilian commercial industrial market when paired with CooperWheelock's offering."
In 2006, MadahCom had sales of approximately $22 million in hardware, software and installation services. It has 200 installations worldwide at military, government, commercial, and industrial locations, along with other campus environments. Safran noted that CooperWheelock and MadahCom "have worked closely together on projects around the world, so they know each other well."
MadahCom's signature products are called WAVES (Wireless Audio Visual Emergency System), a portable personnel alerting system, and TACWAVES (Tactical WAVES), a public warning system that features sophisticated command and control software to activate safety sirens, customized voice messages and visual alerts via secure networks. Both systems can communicate via SMS, email and dial-out systems.
WAVES has the Department of Defense's stamp of approval, which makes it "acceptable to the widest range of government and military applications, and it is the only personnel alerting system that meets all of the Pentagon Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate requirements for force protection at military bases," according to a Cooper Industries' statement.
The solution is a good fit for colleges and universities looking to enhance security, a concern highlighted by the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech University, Safran said.
This acquisition bolsters Cooper Industries' fire and security division, called Cooper Menvier (which does about $450 million in business annually.) Based in the U.K., Cooper Menvier moved into the United States last year with the February 2006 acquisition of Long Branch, N.J.-based Wheelock (search "Cooper scoops up Wheelock to expand reach," at MadahCom will become part of CooperWheelock's Notifications Systems business.
"The other thing is [MadahCom's] strong core competency in RF wireless solutions, a technology we aim to build throughout all of Cooper Industries, beyond the fire and security platform ... there are some strong synergies there," Safran said.
MadahCom has 75 employees, a mix of engineers, sales, field installers and operations people who manufacture the product. The former chief executive officer of Madahcom, Reuben Ben-Arie, will stay on as a consultant, Safran said.