Mace exploring sale of digital media division

Company approaching a pure-play security firm
Thursday, March 11, 2010

HORSHAM, Pa.—Mace Security International announced this week it has retained the services of Northside Advisors, an investment banking firm, to explore the sale of the company’s Digital Media Marketing segment. The segment has two operating divisions. The first deals in the online sale of beauty products and other items, the second publishes Internet promotional sites that offer Mace’s and third-party products for sale.

In the most recent call with investors, Mace CFO Greg Krzemien noted that the Digital Media Marketing segment lost about $1.1 million on revenues of $2.23 million in the third quarter of 2009, and he attributed much of that to an increase in the number of credit cards being declined as customers attempted to pay for products online.

Regardless, since Mace CEO Dennis Raefield took over the company he has been adamant about ridding the company of its car washes and focusing on the security segment, where his expertise and experience lies.

“The thing that’s triggered this,” said Don Taylor, Mace VP, in an interview with SSN, “is that we’re looking at our long-term strategy and where we want to go, and that’s with security. Mace as a company has had some fragmented pieces over the years, from the car washes to the digital media segment, and they just don’t fit the long-term direction. There’s no time-frame on this, but [digital media] is not where we want to go in terms of the company.”

He said, also, that the company would have explored this option regardless of the economy’s condition, and that any sort of rebound was incidental to their thinking.

In that investor call, Raefield said, “you’ll see that we’re continuing to improve on our strategic direction. The goal is to move into security, get out of car washes, and focus our digital efforts toward security. You’ll see a lot of positive things in security. Most of our challenges were in non-security operations.”

Taylor said Northside Advisors was retained because of a business connection with CFO Krzemien.