Garda buys Intertec

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

MONTREAL--On July 1, Garda World Security purchased the Toronto-based Intertec Security for $4.343 million, paying 29.5 percent of Intertec's $14.685 million in annual revenues. The 35-year-old company brings Garda 650 employees, grouped mainly around Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, and currently operates in physical guarding, system integration and alarm monitoring. The acquisition also provides Garda, for the first time, with a UL-listed central station.
Intertec founder Harold Ball will retire, but his wife, executive vice president Celia Ball, will remain for a transition period, said Garda senior vice president Allan Bentley, who oversees Ontario and western Canada. "When we look at acquisitions," Bentley said, "we're looking for people, and Intertec has an excellent management group ... You can buy a book of business, but if you don't have people to run it, you'll quickly lose your money."
The Intertec brand will also remain for some time. "It's very typical for us to not change the brand day one," said Bentley. "We think that's disrespectful. They have a very good reputation and a good brand name." Garda did purchase the name, however, and the company will be re-branded "in the coming months and years."
Nathalie de Champlain, Garda's vice president of communications, also noted, "With this acquisition, our volume of business in Ontario will exceed $100 million [Canadian] in physical security."
Further, Intertec's systems integration business complements what Garda is already doing in Montreal, said Bentley. "For current, or new, customers in Montreal, we can now extend those services to Ontario." As for the central station, Bentley said that monitoring was a part of the business the company has been exploring for some time, but this is its first entry into that line of business.
And you can expect more news out of Garda, which is growing quickly and has in the past year acquired executive guarding and investigation firm Vance from SPX and Initial's Canadian guarding operations from Rentokil-Initial, among other companies. "At any given time we're being approached by or are approaching a number of companies for acquisition," said Bentley. "The security business is still very fragmented in Canada and the U.S."
At the company's annual meeting in June, Garda chief executive officer Stephan Cretier promised stockholders there were several more acquisitions on the horizon. He also noted that the strong Canadian dollar made U.S.-based acquisitions attractive.