HSM continues to buy

Thursday, September 1, 2005

JUPITER, Fla.--HSM's busy summer continued in July with its purchase of the commercial and residential accounts of Sylvester's Security Alarms, a full-service alarm company based in Santa Maria, Calif.
The deal, which financial details of were not released, brought roughly 8,000 commercial and residential accounts into the ever-growing HSM portfolio. Timothy Whall, president and chief operating officer of HSM, said the acquisition moves the company into a territory in California where it previously had limited presence.
"Sylvester adds to our footprint," Whall said. "We have a nice operation in California with seven offices, but nothing really in central California."
Sylvester's Security, which has been a family-run business for 45 years, lands HSM a spot between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which has been identified as a key growth area for the company. Almost all of Sylvester's Security 's 55 employees will be retained, although company President Don Sylvester plans to retire. Sylvester said one benefit of being under HSM centered around his employees.
"The employees should receive more benefits under a larger company like HSM," he said, "as well as a lot more opportunity within the company."
Sylvester said he had been looking at divesting the company since 2000.
"Although, I wasn't familiar with HSM, I had read about what Jim Covert had done in the industry before," Sylvester said. "The offer they gave me was more consistent with what I would accept."
Sylvester's Security concentrated on servicing two counties, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, during its business tenure.
"We have been dominant in our serviceable area in the two counties for the last 25 years and was still dominant when we closed our deal," he said.
Whall said the Sylvester name will also make the transition to HSM over time.
"Sylvester's is a well known name in the community and we will take advantage of that," he said. "And obviously, we would like to grow the business."
Sylvester said the transaction went smoother than he anticipated.
"I was very impressed with the acquisition team," he said. "Once we got on track, the process was constant until closing."
Now, that the company has been lifted out from under its former parent company, Honeywell, the focus has been on building the business. In addition to acquiring the accounts from Sylvester's Security, HSM also purchased systems integrator National Alarm Pro, a company with a large presence in the retail sector. (See related story on page 1.)
"We had a lot of work to do to separate ourselves from Honeywell," Whall said. "Now that we have gotten that accomplished, we will continue to look towards acquisitions in the second year as well as organic growth to move the company forward."