Hawkeye Alarm buys Freeman Technology

Company says acquisition expands its market
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WATERLOO, Iowa—Hawkeye Alarm & Signal Company, a full-service security alarm company based here, launched 2011 with the purchase of Freeman Technology Group in nearby Independence, Iowa.

Ken Samek, owner and president of Hawkeye, which was started in 1958, said the Jan. 1 acquisition “strengthens our customer base in this area and allows us to improve our service ability.”

The owner of Freeman, which started about 100 years ago as an electric supply company and then later added a security division, was retiring and Samek said the opportunity was a good one for Hawkeye. “It was just a very good acquisition because it’s the same (northeast Iowa) territory we’re in,” he told Security Systems News.

Through the purchase, Hawkeye added about 280 accounts, Samek said. He said it was a cash deal but declined to disclose the purchase price.

He’ll be adding one full-time employee and also a part-time employee to Hawkeye’s only office in Waterloo. Hawkeye has 13 employees including himself, Samek said.

Samek, who is treasurer of the Iowa Alarm Association, declined to say how many customers Hawkeye has, but said the company was the first in the state to be approved by UL back in 1960. He started at the company as an installer in 1978 and bought it in 1989 when the original owner retired.

The company offers a range of services including burglar and fire alarm systems, CCTV, and monitoring for commercial and residential customers.

Samek said the company has many loyal customers. “We have customers that are still with us who were before I started … from back in the 60s and 70s,” he said. “In Iowa, you know your customers. It’s not just another contract.”

He said that Hawkeye’s building in Waterloo is just about 20 miles from Independence so Freeman’s customers are not far away. “It’s a perfect fit with our alignment,” he said of the acquisition. “One of our technicians lives over in Independence. We have people over that way to help step in for serviceability.”