C.O.P.S. scoops up Central One from Devcon

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.--C.O.P.S. Monitoring acquired Central One, of Boca Raton, Fla., from Devcon International, on Friday, June 23, for $5 million in cash. The buy positions the wholesale monitoring company to create yet another regional presence, in what it considers a strategic area of the Southeast market.
After shedding the wholesale monitoring business, Devcon will concentrate solely on retail installations and monitoring.
Don Maden, executive vice president of C.O.P.S., said, "not only was [Central One] a good acquisition candidate, but having a central station down here is something that just folds very nicely into our 'hub and spoke' strategy."
The sale allows Devcon to "focus our efforts on providing enhanced services to customers who have contracted directly with us," said Stephen Ruzika, president and chief operating officer, in a written statement.
With the purchase finalized, and more than 100,000 accounts acquired, C.O.P.S. will fold the Central One operation into its company. For the time being, "everything will be built around the Williamstown, N.J., office, which is the main center," Maden said. "The idea is to get to the point where localized and regionalized monitoring can be offered, but you don't necessarily replicate all the other overhead associated with running a company," he added, which, "allows us to capitalize on economies of scale."
As part of Coastal Security, Mike McGrath, now part of the sales and marketing division in the C.O.P.S. Florida office, worked at Central One, the company's monitoring facility for many years, and remained with the company when it was purchased by Devcon. "I think I weathered the storm as they say, but both experiences have been excellent for Central One, and Devcon," he said. "Hopefully, I will have an enjoyable and happy experience and a professionally successful one with COPS."
Although, over the course of a long career, McGrath has learned that change happens with every acquisition. "Obviously, it's a change but it's an aggressive change for the better with the situation with C.O.P.S.," McGrath said. "They [C.O.P.S.] specialize in just central station monitoring and are totally focused on that so they are a central station for the professional dealer."
With Central One's history in the Southeast market, "we should bring a great experience to C.O.P.S. and expand their market in the Florida area considerably," he added.
C.O.P.S. will work throughout the year with alarm dealers currently contracted with Central One to "integrate the best of what they have into what we have."