It’s a small deal, but important

Safeguard adds customers in Santa Fe, N.M., in buyout
Saturday, January 1, 2005

SANTA FE, N.M. - Safeguard Security and Communications continued to build its commercial security business in early December with the acquisition of 200 accounts from a guard company that decided to exit the installation market.

The commercial accounts came from Akal Security, an Espanola, N.M., guard firm with more than 10,000 employees. Akal began installing security systems approximately two years ago, and mainly focused on burglar alarms and CCTV systems.

“They just decided they’re a guard company and wanted to focus on guard services,” said John Jennings, chief executive officer of Safeguard Security, based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Safeguard Security purchased the accounts for an undisclosed price. Officials from Akal Security did not return phone calls prior to press time.

Jennings said Safeguard Security saw the 200 commercial account acquisition as an opportunity to build market share in Santa Fe, even thought it is a small market for the security installer. It will only account for $500,000 of $21 million in annual revenues for the 275-person and 14,000-customer company.

“It’s a small market over there, but we’re firmly committed to Santa Fe,” said Jennings, whose company operates an office in that city. The company’s four other offices are all located in Arizona, in Carefree, Scottsdale, Flagstaff and Prescott.

The acquisition also enables Safeguard Security to continue to build its commercial security business, which today represents 40 percent of its revenues. In 2003, the company began a campaign to increase its commercial business by adding the Rauland line of intercom systems and the Notifier brand of fire products to replace another brand of fire products. Thanks to those efforts Safeguard Security has added $2 million in business by offering the Rauland brand.

The Akal Security deal is not the first acquisition for the security firm. On several occasions, Safeguard Security has used an acquisition either to enter a new geographic market or to add a new service.