Security business gets a boost

Per Mar picks up the Midwest operations of big Georgia-based firm
Friday, October 1, 2004

DAVENPORT, Iowa - One of Per Mar Security Services’ strongest revenue generating divisions continues to get stronger, thanks to its recent acquisition of the Wisconsin and Michigan guard operations of Norred & Associates.

The early August acquisition included approximately 20 clients, which require an average of 168 hours of guard service a week, and a workforce of 60 people. Per Mar plans to operate the business from its existing locations. The purchase price was not disclosed.

For Per Mar Security, guard services represents about 45 percent of revenues for the entire company. The full-service alarm company, with its own central station and a fire installation business, serves approximately 35,000 customers.

According to Bill Jackson, president of Per Mar Security, the acquisition increases the company’s security guard business in Wisconsin and Michigan and expands its guard employee base to 1,500 people. It provides guard services to 250 customers in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, with some business in Kansas, Oklahoma and in Florida.

He said Norred & Associates,a Georgia-based security company, primarily services the Southeast market. Jackson did not disclose how Norred & Associates came to provide guard services in the Wisconsin and Michigan area.

“This fell a little bit outside of their area,” said Jackson.

Per Mar Security has relied on acquisitions as a method to build its business. In its 50-year history, the company has completed more than 50 acquisitions. Many of those were in the guard service market, including its purchase last year of one-time competitor Nighthawk Security in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

But like many of its acquisitions, Nighthawk Security was a small deal in terms of numbers, providing 60 additional employees, but important in terms of geographic reach.

Jackson said Per Mar Security will continue to look to complete acquisitions, both in the guard and electronic security market, to help expand the company.

“We’ve grown internally, but we’ve also grown as a result of acquisition,” he said. “Our approach to the market is to always be open to discussions.”