Tri-Ed changes hands

Thursday, February 3, 2005

February 3, 2005

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario- Industry veteran and former ADI president Steve Roth, in conjunction with private equity firm Wheatley Partners, acquired Tri-Ed Distribution from Tyco International this week for an undisclosed sum.
As a result of the deal, Tri-Ed becomes the largest independent security distributor in North America. The company employs more than 200 and has 26 sales offices combined in Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States.
“The object is to build out the U.S. footprint and make us thoroughly a national player,” said Roth on what the company intends to work on over the next 18 months.
Investment banking firm USBX Advisory Services advised Roth on the acquisition, as well as SR Distribution, the company he formed to complete the deal. Equity holders in the company are Roth, USBX and Wheatley Partners.
Formerly a division of Tyco Fire & Security, Tri-Ed provides equipment from more than 100 vendors, such as alarm panels, CCTV cameras, access equipment, smoke detectors, speakers and structured cabling.
“I think Tyco recognized this was not a core business for them,” said Roth. Tyco’s focus is more on manufacturing and not distribution, he said.
Tri-Ed  was folded into Tyco in the fall 2001, as a result of its acquisition of Digital Security Controls. At the time, Tri-Ed served as DSC’s product distribution channel and was one of many companies included in the deal, which included Delta Vision, Kantech and Surgard.
Roth will lead the management team of Tri-Ed as president. Previously, he served for more than three years as chief executive officer at consumer electronics manufacturer Terk Technologies. Last month, he sold the $50 million in yearly revenue company to AudioVox.
Roth, who is based on Long Island, as was Terk Technologies, will establish a small corporate office in the area. Tri-Ed’s existing accounting and administrative offices will remain in the Toronto area.