Securitas builds integration business

Already known for its guard business, the company looks to grow its installation network
Sunday, May 1, 2005

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Securitas Security Systems made its first purchase in the systems integration space in nearly five years in early April, a calculated move by the company to build its identity in the United States.
The deal involved buying Wornall Electronics, an integrator that focuses on the CCTV and access control market and operates under the name Wornall Secure Business Solutions with a location here and one in Raritan, N.J. The purchase price was not released, but the company expects to complete $5 million in sales in 2005.
For Securitas, the purchase of Wornall comes at a pivotal point. Securitas, a company well known for its guarding business, spent nearly three years reorganizing its reporting systems, pricing models and other business activities for its systems integration business. About 18 months ago, Securitas began to look for companies to acquire to help expand its systems integration capabilities.
"We have a strategy to grow our business organically and to layer on top of that acquisitions that give us platforms to grow," said Marty Guay, regional vice president of Securitas Security Systems.
Buying Wornall marks Securitas' first step towards that growth strategy. Guay called Kansas City, Mo., one of the top 30 markets in the U.S. for security, but he said it is considered a "white area" for Securitas. While the company operates a national accounts office in the city, Guay said Securitas did not pursue business locally.
"It's where we don't have significant local coverage or a presence," he said.
Securitas also gained an office in northern New Jersey, thanks to the transaction. The company previously served the market from a branch in Connecticut.
Wornall operated as a family-run company in the area for decades. Founded in 1959, it first started as a television repair company, but it moved into the CCTV market in the early 1970s. During those early years, the company operated offices in Dallas and Chicago, for example, to serve its clients.
Today, the company employs 27 people. By joining up with Securitas, Wornall gains the financial backing and branch network of a larger organization.
"We're going to be able to deliver better service or offer new capabilities to a lot of our national customers now that we're part of 29 branches, instead of two branches," said Edward Meltzer, former president and chief executive officer of Wornall.
Melter, who will remain with the company, now serves as branch manager. He owned the company with his parents and three brothers.