SLP, Peter Flynn Associates host investors
ST. LOUIS, Mo.- To educate private equity firms about the security industry, SLP Capital and Peter Flynn Associates brought together about 20 capital providers with $5 billion available to invest at an industry conference here.
The two day event centered around educating attendees on how the security industry works and featured a panel discussion from leaders of several top performing alarm companies.
"Our goal is to stimulate private equity interest in the industry," said Bill Polk, president of SLP Capital, based here. "We've got to get more of this stuff happening if we're going to juice this industry."
Recent turn of events, specifically the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, in some regards has heightened investors' awareness about the security industry. The result this year are several new events for the investment community, including Wall Street.
Other events have also cropped up, including a new security show specifically geared towards the airport security market. That event, the Airport Security Expo in Las Vegas in mid-July, is expected to be an annual show, said Shane O'Sheeran, general manager for the Bentley International Group, which is producing the show.
"There's no other training program in the country like this," said O'Sheeran. "Nothing exists to educate them (airport managers) and how to upkeep and monitor their security system."
The same is true in the investment world, where more information is needed for investors with cash available for the security market. In June, an investment banking firm was set to host a luncheon in New York that will be attended by members of Wall Street, said Jack Mallon, of Mallon & Associates.
"There's no doubt there are more functions, exhibits and seminars dealing with security," he said.
Mallon said the firm, Friedland Capital, also intends to host another event in Orange County, Calif., later this year.
"The security industry has always had a lot of interest, but (investors) shied away because of the large strategic buyers. The departure of those has made it an attractive time to enter the market," said Peter Flynn, president and managing director of Peter Flynn Associates in D.C.
Also, less investing is going on now in the telecom and dot-com market than in the past, said Flynn.
"When people see the recurring revenue stream that security offers, it's attractive," he said.
Polk agreed that the climate is different now in the security market than in years past. "It's a very good time for private equity to be looking at this business," he said. "Prices are low and there's a whole lot of demand on the commercial side.
"There aren't a number of strategic buyers looking at the industry like there was in the mid to late nineties, so the opportunity to enter at a lower price is very real."
Polk and Flynn both intend to also hold their conference once again, given the interest expressed by members of the private investment community that attended their event.