IDenticard is the latest to join Edwards

The acquisition is part of Edwards’ plans to become a total solutions provider
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Tuesday, April 1, 2003

CHESHIRE, Conn. - As part of its strategy to become a total solutions provider in the intelligent building market, Edwards Systems Technology has acquired access control company IDenticard Systems and its Canadian counterpart IDenticam Systems.

The deal is one in a series of transactions for Edwards Systems over the past few years as it builds its offerings in the fire, sound, building and now access control markets.

“We’re looking at acquisitions in all of those sectors to fulfill our building strategy,” said Steve Hein, vice president of marketing for Edwards.

In the past, Edwards was primarily known as a fire controls company. With the addition of IDenticard and IDenti-cam for an undisclosed price, along with its purchase of sound system company Dukane last year, building controls company Telaire in 2000 and access control company ISS in 2002, that’s changing.

The company also acquired two small Canadian sprinkler firms in February. The firms are proficient in sprinkler fabrication and installation. (See related story)

Besides its expertise in the access control market, Hein said IDenticard brings 22,000 customers to the table, many of them a source of repeat business over the years.

Edwards is now setting its sights on the CCTV market, said Hein. “We interface with CCTV companies, but if I had to look forward, a large-scale CCTV acquisition would be desirable,” he said.

For IDenticard, a company with $30 million in annual, joining up with the likes of Edwards will help the company bring product to market faster. Edwards is part of SPX, a $5 billion company with 23,000 employees that provides technical products and systems.

“They can bring some extra resources and systems knowledge,” said Bob Hager, president of IDenticard about becoming part of Edwards. “That’s what we’re really excited about. Being a privately held company and relatively small in comparison to Edwards, our resources were limited.”

Edwards and IDenticard began talking about joining up last year after owners of IDenticard were looking for a return on their investment. The company was founded in the 1970s. Today it provides cards, photo badging, and electronic access control systems.

IDenticam primarily sells photo badging equipment to the end-user market.

Like other companies Edwards has acquired over the years, IDenticard and IDenticam are expected to retain their identity and individual management teams. IDenticard, based in Lancaster, Pa., employs about 150 people, while IDenticam in Toronto, Canada employs 35 people.

“That is the plan here,” said Hager. “We will be a self sufficient part of Edwards because our name recognition is so strong in the industry we don’t want to give that up.”