First Response Systems buys competitor

Purchase of Northwest Sound & Security will boost market share
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

BEAVERTON, Ore.—First Response Systems, a full service installation, monitoring and response company based here with accounts throughout Oregon and Washington, recently acquired Northwest Sound & Security of Portland, Ore., a competitor for 12 years.

“This acquisition was really to gain RMR and boost market share through the elimination of a competitor,” Jesse Foglio, systems manager for First Response, told Security Systems News.

First Response, which is a family-owned business with about 200 employees, started 22 years ago, and is a Honeywell First Alert authorized dealer installing burglary, fire, access control and video systems. First Response also has its own Five Diamond, UL certified central station.

Terms of the sale are not being disclosed, but Foglio said the acquisition, which took place Jan. 1, came as the company concentrates its efforts closer to home. First Response this summer sold its branch office in Seattle, which it opened in 1997, he said.

The company kept its accounts in Washington, but now contracts out the service work for them, he said.

That sale, Foglio said, “freed up cash flow for us to focus on what we really wanted: to buy a company that was right in our backyard, which Northwest Sound was.”

Northwest decided to sell because the owner of that company with about six employees was getting out of security and going into other business ventures, Foglio said.

He declined to reveal how many accounts First Response has, but said it acquired more than 600 customers from Northwest.

First Response already was monitoring those accounts for Northwest and now will pick up the service contracts for those customers, and offer them additional features, such as guard response.

“We have armed and unarmed officers and we currently respond to over 600 alarms per month,” Foglio said. “Now we’re going to market our services to these new accounts, which was something we couldn’t do before.”

First Response didn’t take on Northwest’s six employees because First Response has sufficient staff to handle the new accounts, he said.