Tyco may soon sell Sonitrol

Changes also in the works at ADT to improve overall profitability
Monday, March 1, 2004

NEW YORK - According to a company executive, Tyco International’s Fire & Security division may soon shed its Sonitrol alarm monitoring unit.
Tyco Fire & Security President Dave Robinson made the announcement on Wednesday during a conference call at Tyco’s investor meeting here. Robinson said the company is in talks with potential buyers for the unit and that a sale may close soon, but he did not identify Sonitrol’s suitors.

While business is good at Sontitrol, Robinson said, the unit competes with Tyco’s ADT Alarm Systems brand.

Sonitrol is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyco, with a network of over 170 franchise locations across the United States and Canada.

Officials from Sonitrol did not return calls seeking comment by press time.

In all, Robinson said Tyco Fire & Security plans to divest about 25 businesses, which are worth about $1 billion in revenue, as part of a broader divestiture and restructuring program at Tyco. Most of those divested businesses will be related to fire, he said. So far, Tyco Fire & Safety has sold four small operations outside the United States.

Most divestitures in the segment will be related to fire, with fewer in security, Robinson said. To date, the segment has sold four small operations, all outside the United States, he said.

As announced in November 2003, the company expects to close 184 facilities and shed 5,000 jobs.

There are also changes in the works for the ADT unit, Robinson said. These include promoting new technology, products and high-margin services. ADT also wants to integrate its operations to improve productivity and lower costs.

Robinson also announced higher sales forecasts for Tyco Fire & Safety for the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Revenues are forecast to hit $12 billion this year, as opposed to $11.29 billion the previous year.