Sentry buys Schaumburg

Expects to make more Chicago-area purchases this year
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

WHEELING, Ill.—In an acquisition that increases its customer base by more than 10 percent, Sentry Security acquired Schaumburg Security services, company owner David Balistrery told Security Systems News on May 3.

“The company has a good reputation, it includes about 550 largely commercial, with some residential, accounts,” he said. The former owner, Jerry Fanta, Sr., is continuing to do some business consulting with Sentry.

Sentry has been in existence since 1991, and Balistrery has been the owner since 2004. Belistrery learned about the alarm industry while working in investment business in New York. Six years ago, he decided to leave New York to become a small-business entrepreneur.

Through eight acquisitions, he’s grown Sentry to “$200,000 plus” in RMR. Sentry’s commercial business makes up about 75 percent of that RMR, he said.

Balistrery has 21 employees, with separate technical and sales staff for his resi and commercial divisions.

His resi business is “staffed to be the local independent alarm company that’s accessible, can take care of everyday problems. The other side is our institutional business. We have very deep experience doing access control and IP camera installations for Fortune 1000 companies,” he said. Sentry competes with the likes of Convergint for integration jobs, he noted.

Balistrery said he expects to make more acquisitions this year in the Chicago area, where the security market is “big and still very fractured.” Sentry’s target acquisition size is “between $10,000 to $25,000, and up to $50,000 of RMR.”