Mace raises $8.3m

Acquiring more centrals, product development on the books
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

HORSHAM, Pa.—With most of its legacy issues settled, Mace recently raised $8.3 million through a rights offering to existing shareholders, and now has money in the bank to execute its growth strategy.

“We’re quite happy with the outcome,” Mace CEO Dennis Raefield told Security Systems News. “We settled a whole lot of open issues—as you know the company had a troubled past with problems with the ex-CEO and the Environmental Protection Agency.  We’ve settled those, and cleared them up, but we were down to a few million in the bank. This [rights offering] was a way to raise money to continue to go in our strategic direction,” he explained.

Mace has three divisions: the Mace pepper spray; Mace Security Products (CCTV, access control and alarm panel); and Mace CS, central alarm monitoring.

Raefield has spent a lot of time shedding Mace’s non-security properties, and he really wanted to get into the central alarm monitoring business when he joined the company. In the past two years he’s overseen the purchase and integration of two wholesale monitoring businesses (CSSS and The Command Center) and plans to buy more.

“We have about 10 [centrals] in our pipeline and about three or four are close to closing. These are centrals that are generally not on the market,” he said.

Part of the money will be used to “expand into central-station enabled products,” he said. Products such as GPS trackers, emergency trackers and panic buttons. Mace products include Mace Buddy, Mace Tracker, and Mace App.

With Mace’s central station infrastructure, these products are more valuable, Raefield said. These products “do more than send an email or text ... you’re actually connected to a live operator who can stay with [the caller] and help them handle the emergency ... all the technology in the world won’t help you if all it does is send off a text to a server.”