Safeguard acquires Aztec, moves to new offices

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

PHOENIX--Safeguard Security acquired Phoenix-based Aztec Home Systems on Aug. 4 and is making plans to move into new corporate headquarters this fall.

“October 23 is the day we’re shooting for,” said John Jennings, CEO of Safeguard. The 20,000-square-foot new headquarters, located at 8454 North 90th St., is about 6,000 square feet larger than the current corporate offices.

The Aztec accounts were transitioned to Safeguard’s monitoring facility on Sept. 1. Terms of the deal, which brings with it 700 residential accounts, were not released. “This acquisition is not strategic in nature; it’s a straightforward fold-in acquisition,” Jennings said. The former owner, Mike Bertocchi, is retiring. “He’s ready to take it easy and spend some more time at his cabin in the woods,” Jennings said.

The move to new offices is part of a larger expansion project that began earlier this year when Jennings moved from a 10,000-square-foot warehouse to a 19,000-square-foot warehouse. Also housed in the new warehouse is a 3,000-square-foot training area. Jennings said his technicians and service people are “constantly in training,” much of which is IP-based training. The training center is also used as a community resource. “We’ve assisted the local fire marshal with training, brought them in to help them understand fire alarm systems,” he said.

In the new headquarters, Jennings said the service and installation department would be combined, as will the accounting and customer service departments. The new space can accommodate about 40 more employees as the company grows. Jennings expects many of those positions to be draft, designer and sales positions, made necessary by a “commercial integration business that’s growing by leaps and bounds.”

Roughly 80 percent of Safeguard’s 16,400 accounts are residential, but revenues are closer to 50 percent residential/50 percent commercial. Safeguard does a lot of work in schools, healthcare and multi-unit dwellings, Jennings said.