Private equity firm re-enters industry with purchase

Thursday, February 10, 2005

February 10, 2005

BOSTON - Central Security Group experienced a change in ownership in late January when private equity firm Great Hill Equity Partners purchased the alarm company from Stolberg Equity Partners.
Stolberg Equity Partners, along with security industry veteran Mark Wilson, now the president and chief executive officer at the firm, developed CSG in 1999 to purchase U.S.-based monitoring businesses - it purchased Guardian Security Systems that same year. Wilson said Stolberg Equity Partners met their investment criteria, which allowed the company to be courted by Great Hill.
Today, CSG handles 58,000 accounts and operates predominately in the south central region of the country. The company is working on expanding its business - plans are to open new offices in Wichita, Kan., and Dallas in the coming months.
“Over the next few years we will expand into Florida,” said Wilson. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries from dealers in that market.”
The expansion will be fueled by CSG’s access to capital from Great Hill. For the Boston-based equity firm, the deal marks its return to the security industry.
“We’ve had involvement in the security industry since 1986,” said Chris Gaffney, managing partner of the firm. “We didn’t play in the 90s because prices were too high.”
For more on this story, see the March issue of Security Systems News.