FKI adds EXL Safe to its bag of tricks

Thursday, April 28, 2005

NEW ALBANY, Ind. - FKI Security Group completed an acquisition of commercial safe manufacturer EXL Safe Corp. in the beginning of March - a deal that expands FKI's product line and geographic reach.

Other than bringing a heavier plate safe to the FKI product line - the company's forte lies in electronic and intelligent safes - it allows the company to address customer needs by expanding its distribution capabilities.

"We can better serve our customers and manufacture better with offices on the East and West Coasts," said Van Carlisle, president and chief executive officer of FKI.

FKI intends to turn EXL's California-based facility into the center of FKI's western United States sales and service efforts. Plans call for the addition of a service call center with freight logistics and parts staging, product design and manufacturing, and warehousing.

The buyout is the second purchase of a safe company completed by FKI in the past six months. It finalized its acquisition of Illinois-based McGunn Safe in December 2004.

EXL Safe, which recorded revenues of approximately $7 million in 2004 and employs 35, brings its roster of large-volume retail clients to FKI, which has no plans to change the structure of EXL, its location or its number of employees. EXL will operate as a separate division of FKI and will continue to manufacture under the EXL name. The purchase price for EXL was not released.

Carlisle said the company, which also has businesses in records protection, fire-proof files and multifunction digital recorders, will continue to look for acquisitions and growth opportunities that fit into its focus.

"Certainly our primary emphasis is on internal growth and bringing new technology to our operations so that's our prime driver of growth," he said "We also continue to look for opportunities for external growth when the right opportunity comes along that we feel adds value to our customers."

With the addition of EXL, 30 percent of FKI's business is in the safe market and Carlisle said it is one of the company's faster growing segments.

"The file business is our older business and the most mature, and it continues to have moderate growth," Carlisle said. "We are seeing our technology business, our intelligent safe, cash handling and digital businesses become the fastest growing segments."