MDI makes buy under new plan

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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

SAN ANTONIO, Texas--For the first time since it underwent a major reorganization that included selling off its non-core businesses, changing its name and hiring a new chief executive officer, MDI Inc. moved into acquisition mode in January, buying Advanced Security Link, a video communications company.
The stock transaction deal, for two million shares of MDI stock, provides MDI with inroads in the network video recording market. MDI is known for its enterprise access control system. Not only does ASL manufacture a network video recorder, it also makes edge IP devices, such as bandwidth modulators.
J. Collier Sparks, president and chief executive officer of MDI, said the company's focus is to provide one common command and control application.
"ASL is the first step of being able to bring a completely integrated, down to code level, application," he said.
ASL will operate as a division of MDI and will retain its location in Costa Mesa, Calif. Founder Mitchell Phan remains onboard as president and chief executive officer of ASL.
For ASL, the benefit is access to MDI's extensive network of dealers, which also includes the PSA Security Network. ASL will also offer its product, RemoteWatch, on a wider basis under its own name, whereas previously much of its sales came from its OEM business.
"With this exposure, the product can get to a lot of dealers," said Phan.