Sweetwater marches on with purchase

Sunday, February 1, 2004

STAFFORD, Texas - Sweetwater Security Capital’s acquisition of approximately 1,500 monitoring accounts from DSS Security, a subsidiary of Eagle Broadband, late last year marked the fifth such deal for the firm in 14 months.

The acquisition of the accounts, which were purchased for an undisclosed amount of cash, puts Sweetwater closer to its objective of building a national security company. To date, the company, which has locations in Alabama, Colorado and its headquarters here, has about 10,000 accounts, of which about 65 percent are residential.

Donald Bresina-Hawkins, chairman of Sweetwater Security Capital, said he continues to evaluate the market for further consolidation. However, citing the company’s private status, Bresina-Hawkins declined to comment on what type of buying pace the firm will follow over the next 12 months. “We are trying to be disciplined in our approach and focus,” he said. “Our only mindset is to make profitable acquisitions.”

For Eagle Broadband, a publicly held League City, Texas-based provider of broadband products and services, the deal signifies the company’s drive to focus its business activities on Bundled Digital Services, which includes Internet-based voice, data, and video telecommunications. Eagle purchased Houston-based DSS Security in early 2002 and now uses DSS’s former central station in its Eagle Security subsidiary.

A spokesperson for Eagle was not made available to speak with Security Systems News by press time.

The last quarter of 2003 proved to be a busy time for Sweetwater. In October, the firm completed its largest deal to date when it acquired Glenwood Springs, Colo.-based Apex Security. The all-cash deal included 4,500 accounts and a number of former Apex Security employees. Sweetwater did not diclose the value of that transaction.

Sweetwater Security Capital, a division of Sweetwater Ventures, was formed in the summer of 2001. The company, which now employs 100, provides infrastructure alarm services that include access control, CCTV, as well as fire and burglar systems. Sweetwater Ventures is the investment vehicle for Sweetwater Security Capital and was founded by a network of investors in August 2000. Other acquisitions the firm has made include North American Security Alarm and Security Installation Services.

From his viewpoint, Bresina-Hawkins sees the company’s future as “a matter of organic growth versus acquisition growth.” However, that does not mean he will stall the current acquisition pace.

“I characterize it as buy and build,” adding, the firm will pinpoint future deals by analyzing “separate entities instead of anything across the transom.”