'Original trunk-slammer' builds new company in Dallas

Thursday, March 19, 2009

GRAPEVINE, Texas--Industry veteran Don Allen expanded his latest business venture, Cosecurity Inc., this month with the fold-in acquisition of All Around Security & Sound, a small company located in Granbury, Texas.

Allen, whose career in security spans four decades, calls himself "the original trunk-slammer." He started in 1969 as an installer "before there was a digital keypad." Over the years, he's started his own company (which he sold to National Guardian), worked with National Guardian and Holmes Security, built several central stations and started a manufacturers rep business (now owned by his son).

Allen started Cosecurity in 2005. He bought 2,600 security accounts from a power company that had contracted with area builders to install security systems in three subdivisions.

Since that time, Allen has doubled the size of the company, through organic growth, "working two-to-three days a week," to 6,000 accounts. About 70 percent are residential and 30 are commercial, although he's working on growing the commercial side.

Allen estimates he's been involved with more than 80 acquisitions. All Around Security & Sound is one of the smallest, with 200 accounts, and "the first one I've bought out of Chapter 7."

Normally, Allen said, the seller "is saying 'How can I help you?'" In this instance, "you're dealing with a judge who says, 'It's yours; good luck.'"

The accounts are divided equally among residential and commercial accounts. His staff will finish visiting the accounts and converting them to Cosecurity by the end of March. Allen uses a third-party monitoring station. "I'm too old and cantankerous to start another central station," he said.

Allen said he's proud of the fact that his got a lean staff of nine people. "The name of the game is to make a profit," he said.