Sonitrol buys franchise, this time in backyard

Thursday, December 1, 2005

BERWYN, Penn.--Noting that senior staffers in the office here are "all Philadelphia guys" with connections and insights into the Southeastern Pennsylvania market, Sonitrol senior vice president Todd Leggett announced the acquisition of a franchise that hits close to home.
Sonitrol officers--Kevin Dowd, chief executive officer; Alex Gellman, president; and Tom Breslin, chief financial officer--know the Philadelphia business landscape, and have ties to the real estate, banking, insurance and scholastic industries, Leggett said.
"This opens up a networking opportunity for our team to expand our commercial customer base," he added.
The purchase, terms of which were not disclosed, was finalized on Oct 31.
"This is a very large growth area for us. The territory is large, covering Philadelphia County up to Camden, New Jersey, and up into Chester and Bucks and Montgomery County," Leggett said. This franchise is the seventh acquired by the audio verification security company in the last ten months. The previous owners of the business, Bob Hall and Bill Bagely,owned the shop for 12 years and are retiring.
Sonitrol 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.
Philadelphia accounts, currently monitored by a third party central station in Allentown, Penn., will be moved to Sonitrol's central station in Baltimore.
Regional Sales Manager John Rausch of Baltimore will oversee Philadelphia's sales operations.
Most of the current staff, which numbers approximately 15, will transition to employment with Sonitrol.
In addition, five sales people will be added to the staff, Leggett said.
"We will stick to the classic model and going after commercial business using our audio verified technology," Leggett explained.
Sonitrol was purchased from Tyco by three private equity firms in March 2004.