CPS Security acquires D&M

Structured cabling expertise augments integration biz
Thursday, January 14, 2010

LOS ANGELES—CPS Security, a $100 million firm with a large guard business and a CCTV business operating under the eCamSecure brand, has acquired D&M Communications, which specializes in the integration of low-voltage structured cabling systems for voice and data equipment.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but D&M owner Dave Morales will remain with CPS and the D&M brand will continue, absorbing the majority of CPS’s video surveillance business. D&M brings a base of business that was largely concentrated in Southern California, but adds its installation capability to CPS’ newly UL-certified central station, 15 offices in seven states, and 2,200 employees.

D&M will now be run by Bill Goodwin, operations manager for eCamSecure. “Normally, as we’re going out to install camera systems,” said Goodwin, “we’re always waiting for the structured cabling piece, so it’s just a natural evolution for us to do that ... Now we can respond to much larger RFPs.” While CPS used to just bid on larger jobs for the guarding portions (both the initial site during construction and the lobby of the finished building), “now we can do the structured cabling, the fiber/copper, building out the server rooms. We can grasp a whole lot broader range of services, be much closer to a one-stop shop.”

Especially with California’s economy, CPS isn’t shy about trying to grab more market share, Goodwin said. “You can be more picky in a boom market,” he said, “but right now we’re very interested in entertaining anything that makes ethical and legal sense.” He noted, however, that CPS is privately owned by a single owner and has no debt, so is fairing better than many companies. “We’re buying when everyone else is selling,” he joked.

While the down economy has helped the guard business a bit, as property owners hire guards to protect now vacant properties, for example, “on the structured cabling side, it’s a little bit different,” Goodwin said. “If a company is expanding or receding, it’s good business for us,” and contraction means reworking the cable, maybe, “but when it’s static, it’s a little slow for us ... Projects have slowed tremendously over the last 12 months.”

The good news? Maybe California is starting to come out of the woods: “At the end of December, things started picking up. We’re seeing more at-bats, things are starting to move again in a positive direction.” Still, he cautioned, “unemployment is still very high down here.”