Initial buys Barry Security

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Friday, December 1, 2006

CHICAGO--Initial Electronics, the North American arm of Rentokil-Initial's Initial Electronic Security Group, announced in October an agreement to acquire Barry Security Systems, of Tewksbury, Mass. Barry, which collected roughly $6.5 million in revenue in 2005, was represented by Robert Perry. Terms of the deal were not released.
Peter Barry, president of the company, will remain with Initial, as will much of the Barry staff. The company offices will be moved to a larger location shortly after the acquisition finalizes, said Initial president Kevin Robison.
Barry had done work with Initial's Connecticut office (the 2005 acquisition ISS) and Perry also represented ISS during its sale to Initial, so the companies were already quite familiar. That, combined with Barry's "very strong" customers in the pharmaceutical (Biogen, Phillips Medical), health care (Beth Israel Hospital) and education (Bates College) verticals, made the company an attractive buy, said Robison.
It also fits Initial's stated growth plan, said Initial marketing manager Tom Murdock, of "getting new geographic areas without compromising quality of installation."
"The idea," said Robison, "is to try to capture really good quality businesses that have niche customers and are in similar verticals that we are in." He said Barry only lacked a presence in the financial sector, where Initial has a good portion of its business.
The hope is that acquired companies retain their leadership, as in the case of Barry, and continue to operate largely autonomously, other than taking on Initial's financial system and back office support. "You've got to let those people still operate fairly independently," Robison said. "For instance, they're a Lenel and Software House dealer, and the intent is to keep those dealerships in place."
However, said Steve Wehofer, Initial sales manager for the Midwest region, "after the first of next year, we'll do some meetings of the mind. We'll get all the senior management together and glean the best practices from each office and transplant that to everybody else."