Diebold spreads its wings beyond The finance market

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Wednesday, September 1, 2004

NORTH CANTON, Ohio - Diebold’s recent acquisition pace could be indicative of things to come for the national systems integrator, which has traditionally taken a slower, and less frequent approach, when it comes to buying companies in the electronic security market.

The company, well known for serving the financial market through its ATM business and security services, appears to be breaking out. Since the beginning of this year, the company has bought five businesses that directly impact its security division.

“We’re a fairly conservative company,” said Richard Baggot, vice president of Diebold’s Electronic Security and Currency Systems Group. “When we take steps they’re calculated and we have a plan.”

According to executives at Diebold, the acquisitions are not just part of the company’s plans to bolster its geographic reach or customer base, but also help the company grow beyond the financial service market.

Part of its plan involves increasing its retail and government business. To accomplish this, the company formed dedicated retail and government sales groups two years ago. Already Diebold’s business in the retail market has grown at a rate of 12 percent, when compared to 2003 numbers.

And, the second largest monitored customer at Diebold’s Event Monitoring Center, is a retail business, said Steve Ipson, director of monitoring services for Diebold. The company monitors 30,000 accounts from its facility here.

On the government side, the company recently won a contract with the United States Postal Inspection Service to install security in its 11,000 locations across the country. The one-year deal, renewable for up to four more years, represents the largest government contract won by Diebold.

Tony Manocchio, research analyst with Midwest Research, expects focusing on new markets will be an important part of Diebold’s future.

“I expect to see them make acquisitions they’re not presently in, maybe another product line or service,” said Manocchio. “They’re far and away the clear market leader on the financial side.”