Sonitrol buy sews up Capital region

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, September 1, 2006

BERWYN, Pa.--Sonitrol's latest franchise purchase solidifies the company's presence in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast and specifically connects the economically intertwined Baltimore-Washington corridor.
On Aug. 3, the verified electronic security company purchased the Chantilly, Va., franchise from Bill McNabney, a Sonitrol veteran who will stay on as an advisor and sales consultant (see related story, this page).
In the past two years, Sonitrol has repurchased franchises in major metropolitan areas including Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Orlando, Columbus and Kansas City.
"We look to acquire franchises where it's strategically important and adjacent to where we already have franchises," said Sonitrol president Alex Gellman. "We're already in Baltimore and Philadelphia, New York City, Connecticut and Boston, so adding Washington makes perfect sense."
"This is one of the premier franchises in our network, an A-plus operation. It's contiguous with our Baltimore market and in the Washington-Baltimore corridor, there's a lot of commerce back and forth, and a lot of companies have offices in both areas," he said.
Aside from McNabney, who will now focus on "overall Sonitrol" strategy, Gellman said Sonitrol will retain the employees at the Chantilly office, although Baltimore regional manager John Rausch will now manage sales for Baltimore and Washington. On the operations side, John Holoneck will run things in the Chantilly shop.
Gellman noted that this franchise was very successful in the commercial property management sector, particularly with access control solutions.
Sonitrol's recent acquisitions of select franchises are not an indication that the company will do away with its dealer-owned businesses, said Tim Hickey, who handles media relations for Sonitrol: "As Todd [Leggett, executive vice president of Sonitrol] has said, Sonitrol will always have an independent franchise network."