Sonitrol buys Buckeye State franchise

Thursday, June 1, 2006

BERWYN, Penn.--Sonitrol closed April 28 on its 12th franchise purchase, this time in Columbus, Ohio.
The verified electronic security company embarked on a strategy of raising the "integrity of dealerships" and acquiring dealerships when a dealer is ready to get out of the business last June when it received $315 million in capital--a combination term loan and revolving credit line arranged by Wachovia.
There are more than 110 franchises across North America.
Todd Leggett, senior vice president of Sonitrol, called the Ohio acquisition "strategically important and unique because the company does not currently have a presence in certain cities," such as Cleveland, Toledo or Akron, Ohio.
He said Sonitrol will "capitalize on the current infrastructure to move into this region." Sonitrol does have two dealers in Ohio, one in Youngstown/Warren and another in Dayton/Cincinnati. "We hope to complement the services they are already offering to Ohio commercial clients," Leggett said.
The recently purchased franchise, which is located at 921Eastwind Drive in Westerville, Ohiohas 1,500 customers and was well run by Marilyn Storey, who is retiring, Leggett said. "She was the owner for more than 25 years, and she ran a super franchise.
"We are lucky to be able to capitalize on their work," Leggett commented. "They have done a great job with the verified audio and video, the core of Sonitrol [offerings]," he said.
Leggett expects most of the service, sales and installation personnel to stay on.
He also said that the company will be hiring sales and technical professionals to help expand into other target Ohio cities.
Greg VanDewell, who has been promoted from director of sales to vice president of sales, will oversee the Columbus office.
Leggett noted that Sonitrol's sales staff has grown from 65 to 105 (this does not include new staff in the Ohio office) since the new ownership group took over in March 2004.
Sonitrol serves more than 200 cities in the United States and Canada.