Guardian salutes $10M in capital

Monday, August 1, 2005

NORWALK, Conn.--Three years after reviving the National Guardian Security Services name, company President George Flagg negotiated $10 million in expansion capital.
The financing from Philadelphia-based private equity firm LLR Partners will be used to support acquisitions and new national sales positions for the full-service security company.
LLR Partners typically invests in profitable consumer service companies with yearly revenues that exceed $20 million. Flagg declined to disclose National Guardian's revenue figures, but said it was in that range.
Mitchell Hollin, partner at LLR Partners, said what interested the firm most about National Guardian is the company's dedication to winning national accounts.
"We think that a company narrowly focused on that vertical will grab more market share (than similarly positioned companies)," said Hollin.
The company looks to add up to four new national sales managers. These positions will include representatives for the West Coast, Northeast and Central United States. The funding will help support these individuals while they learn their territory, according to Flagg, who said it can sometimes take more than six months for a new sales person to gain traction.
The first type of acquisition the company would consider is small regional burglar and fire alarm businesses that contract third-party monitoring firms. These companies would have between 500 and 1,000 accounts to help the company build its regional presence and at the same time support national accounts.
"Some of our dealers might be candidates for this type of acquisition," said Flagg.
The company would also consider national account companies with a large base of clients. "That may be the most cost effective way to jump start the business," Flagg said. However, he admits this is unlikely since the cost of such a deal would erode most of the new funds.
Flagg said he has identified two such companies that operate in California and North and South Carolina that fit this profile, but he declined to give additional details.
When Flagg joined the original company in 1985, National Guardian was making $20 million per year through its guard division and $40 million through its electronic security unit. By 1989, the guard division billed $60 million a year and was sold to Stanley Smith Security.
The alarm division ramped up to $200 million in annual revenues, after a number of acquisitions to build the business. Starting in the mid-1990s, the company changed hands a number of times. Owners included SecurityLink, Cambridge Protection and finally Tyco International. By 2002, the National Guardian name was no longer in use and Flagg saw an opportunity to reintroduce the brand.
That year, Flagg purchased integration company APT Services and went to market as National Guardian Security Services.