Honeywell acquires The Gamewell Co.

The deal is Honeywell’s first fire purchase since it bought Silent Knight in 1999
Thursday, May 1, 2003

ASHLAND, Mass. - Honeywell Fire Solutions Group is expanding its reach in the fire products market, recently announcing its acquisition of privately held The Gamewell Co.

The purchase of the commercial product manufacturer that introduced the first wide-area network fire reporting system is expected to strengthen Honeywell’s already strong presence in the fire market. The purchase price for the 151-year-old company, owned for more than a decade by businessman David Massad, an investor in automotive dealerships, banks and real estate holdings, was not released.

“It gives us another very old brand that we can expand our distribution with engineered systems distributors,” said Mark Levy, president of Honeywell’s Fire Solutions Group.

Gamewell currently has a network of 150 engineered systems distributors, said Levy, who intends to expand upon that by offering Gamewell products in additional markets. That could be internationally, he said, since only five percent of Gamewell’s sales are international compared with 50 percent from the overall fire solutions group.

Now with Gamewell onboard, Honeywell’s fire solutions group has a significant share of the estimated $1 billion fire market, speculated Lee Devito, president of research and consulting firm FirePro in Andover, Mass. Its other fire solutions group brands include Notifier, FCI, Fire Lite, System Sensor and Silent Knight, a company bought in 1999.

“The market is really now divided up among four major players,” said Devito. He said those left with large shares of the fire market include Tyco, Siemens, Edwards Systems Technology and Honeywell.

But compared with Honeywell’s other fire companies, Gamewell is small in comparison, said Devito, with an estimated $10 million in revenues according to 2000 numbers. Gamewell’s customer base, made up of engineered systems distributors, may have been an appealing aspect of the transaction, he said.

Levy said Honeywell is now in the process of moving Gamewell’s manufacturing and headquarters from here to Honeywell’s location in Northford, Conn., to tap into marketing and sales support of the larger organization.

Shortly after the acquisition, Honeywell officials were still evaluating which employees will remain with the company. The former president of Gamewell, Bill Abraham, is one such employee remaining onboard. His new role is vice president of sales for Gamewell.

“We want to ensure everyone the Gamewell brand will not only survive, but it has a great future and the prospects have never been better for it,” said Levy.