Tri-S sells off residential accounts to focus on guarding, commercial installation

Thursday, July 27, 2006

ATLANTA--Tri-S Security, a provider of guards and system integration, has exited the residential market entirely, selling all of its residential accounts, along with a central station, to Security Alarm Financing Enterprises, a San Ramon, Calif. company providing alarm service and financing for alarm companies. SAFE paid $680,000 for International Monitoring, based in south Florida, one of the companies Tri-S acquired with the Cornwall Group in late 2005, and has agreed to purchase more accounts from Tri-S over the next 90 days.
Tri-S chief executive officer Ronald Farrell said that there were a number of accounts that needed to be "cleaned up."
"Maybe there's paperwork that needs to be done," he said. "It could be that the customer hasn't technically renewed the contract, but they're still paying us." As the accounts get cleaned up, SAFE will buy them through the agreed upon date.
This, coupled with earlier sales of Army Fleet Support for $10.8 million and a piece of real estate for $774,000, has brought in $12,270,000 in cash for Tri-S over the past few months, nearly eliminating its bank debt, said Farrell.
As Tri-S looks to grow the commercial installation side of the business, it is now in a much better position for acquisitions, Farrell said. Commercial installation "is a small piece of our business right now, but we're putting more emphasis on it," he said. The residential installation and monitoring wasn't bringing in positive cash flow, and "it was easy to spin-off. There was no overlap between the commercial and the residential monitoring ... It was a good transaction, it made good sense for us to get out of the residential business. Converting it to cash was just a good idea."