Lifestyle chooses alternate path
April 1, 2004
DALLAS - Lifestyle Innovations, a single-source home automation company with franchises across the eastern United States, filed its quarterly report last weekÃ¢â‚¬â€a narration that revisits the missteps the company has made over the past year, including a number of failed transactions.
In the last 12 months, the company saw several deals sour. It acquired FutureSmart, a structured-wiring manufacturer, only to turn around and sell it two months later to Honeywell, and saw its acquisition of HomeSync, a systems integrator, fall through. Due in part to these dealings, Lifestyle reported a working capital deficit of $6.3 million in its quarterly report.
But President and acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Johnson is confident that the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reorganization will put it back on track.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lifestyle has basically gone through a regroup,Ã¢â‚¬Â Johnson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had some missteps that we have learned a lot from.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The mistakes, Johnson said, stemmed from a string of rash decisions while trying to establish the company as a franchise-based organization. The franchise model has now been replaced by a business plan that focuses on acquiring quality companies.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing now is taking a different tack,Ã¢â‚¬Â Johnson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Instead of hoping against hope and making an acquisition too quickly, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m willing to take a much more conservative approach.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In 2003, Lifestyle expressed an interest in purchasing Home Automated Living, a Maryland-based developer of home control software. Johnson said although the transaction has not yet occurred, the companies share a close partnership.
Johnson was tight-lipped on naming other businesses Lifestyle may be interested in, but he did mention that he is currently looking at purchasing two Lifestyle franchisesÃ¢â‚¬â€a letter of intent to purchase LST Baltimore was announced earlier this week.
For more on this story, see the May issue of Security Systems News.