Meet VES, ready to venture to markets abroad

Viking Electronic Services acquired by U.K.-based Kentec
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Sunday, June 1, 2008

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.--Viking Electronic Services is officially VES, having closed May 5 on a deal where its assets were sold to Kentec Electronics, a U.K.-based manufacturer of fire panels.

Formerly a subsidiary of Viking Corporation, VES can now “take our product outside of the U.S. to markets that use and recognize UL- and FM- approved products,” said Michael Carter, VES vice president, sales & marketing.

“Joining with Kentec brings us the international experience we didn’t have previously,” he said. Asked what markets specifically Viking would be moving into, Carter said, “India, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and other Arab countries.”

VES, which makes fire alarm systems, remote annunciators, VESNet virtual panels, addressable smoke and heat sensors and other products, has worked closely with Kentec for the past five years. “They manufacture our best panel,” Carter said.

In a prepared statement, Tom Groos, chairman of Viking Corporation said, “As Viking Electronic Services developed and grew its line of eLAN engineered fire alarm systems, its success took it in a different business direction from that of Viking and Viking’s core sprinkler and suppression businesses.” Groos said he decided to “look for a progressive organization with the technical expertise to continue with what [had] been developed … Kentec became that logical new

Carter said that the original concept for Viking Electronic Services was to allow those in the sprinkler business to get into the fire alarm business. He said Viking’s largest dealer was a sprinkler contractor, but that there was a lot of interest from the mainstream fire alarm industry as well.

VES and Kentec will combine their two engineering departments “which will provide us with more technical resources,” he said.

Other than the name change, much will stay the same at the VES, Carter said. “We will be in the same building, have the same phone number and those phones will be answered by the same people, but now, every once and a while, you may hear an English accent.”