Diebold is on the prowl

A pair of acquisitions get added as Diebold continues to expand
Wednesday, September 1, 2004

NORTH CANTON, Ohio - Diebold Inc. continues with its steady acquisition pace in the electronic security market, buying a pair of systems integrators in back-to-back deals.

Its most recent involves the mid-August purchase of Antar-Com, a White Plains, N.Y.-based systems integrator that reported $27 million in revenues in 2003 with an employee headcount of 100. The company is known for designing and installing enterprise-level security systems.

That transaction follows a smaller acquisition for Diebold. In late July, the company bought Applied Systems Technologies, a Richmond, Va.-based systems integrator that provides additionial strength in the Virginia market.

For Diebold, these transactions represent two of five deals completed this year. And analysts covering the company expect its acquisition pace in the electronic security market to continue.

“There’s still a lot of room for them,” said Tony Manocchio, research analyst for Midwest Research in Cleveland. “It’s a highly fragmented industry and there’s more opportunity to make acquisitions.”

On the security side, Antar-Com represents the largest acquisition for Diebold since it purchased Mosler, a company that dissolved three years ago. Over a few years, Antar-Com has experienced tremendous growth, with business growing from $10.5 million three years ago to $27 million today.

Tracy Brusca, vice president of business development for Antar-Com, credits the company’s solid engineering of jobs for the company’s growth. “One of our shining stars is our CAD department,” said Brusca. She said customers want As-builts, plans that reflect the condition of a project after job completion. “We create As-builts first,” she said.

Antar-Com was a privately held company, owned by Isac Tabib and Dan Putnam. Both Tabib and Putnam plan to remain with the business. The purchase price was not released.

Brusca said Antar-Com has been approached by a number of potential buyers. But by partnering with Diebold, the company gains a global presence and teams up with a company with similar values when it comes to customer service and employees.

Richard Baggot, vice president of Diebold’s Electronic Security and Currency Systems Group, said Antar-Com’s customer base of Fortune 500 companies appealed to Diebold, along with the level of the projects they complete.

“They’re heavy into working with architects and engineers, that contractor market,” said Baggot. “It’s a space that’s appealing to us.”

For now Antar-Com will retain it’s name, but be known as a Diebold company. Applied Systems Technologies, on the other hand, has been folded into Newell Communications Inc., another Richmond, Va., business Diebold bought at the beginning of this year.

Details about Applied Systems Technologies, such as the size of the company, were not released. The company’s former owner, Dick Worrall, and other employees, remain onboard.