Stanley completes Best buy, consolidates operations

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS -A week after completing its acquisition of lock manufacturer Best Access Systems, tool maker Stanley Works announced 240 layoffs at Best Access in early December and the closing of seven branches.

The consolidation comes as the two companies join together. Best Access Systems will be combined with Stanley Access Technology to create The Stanley Access Solutions Group, a $400 million business unit. That combined business will be headed by Justin Boswell, president.

Though the Best Access name has changed, company officials still intend to capitalize upon its brand recognition.

“We’re not going to stop using the name Best on the locks,” said Gerard Gould, vice president of investor relations for Stanley Works. “The brand Best is one of the things we paid money for.”

For Stanley Works, the $310 million deal provides the company with additional inroads in the access control industry. Through its access control business, it provided automatic door products, installation and services.

Best Access has built its reputation as a provider of locking and access control system, operating both a manufacturing facility and installation and service offices. The company is renowned in the security industry for patenting the interchangeable lock core technology.

Gould said there was some overlap between Best Access and Stanley’s access control business, with branches in similar areas and duplicate management positions. Of those laid off, about 100 worked at the company’s seven branches that closed.

Gould declined to release where those branches were located, citing competitive reasons. The remaining layoffs, he said, came from the management side.

According to a story in The Indianapolis Star, many of the laid off employees were veteran workers. People learned of the layoffs as they arrived at work Dec. 4. They were informed about benefits and severance packages and then escorted from the building.

For Best Access, the layoff represents the third for the company. It now employs 1,300 people. In 2001, the company eliminated 100 manufacturing positions, while in May 2002 150 employees lost their job.