Voxcom makes white knight deal

Company purchases 16,000 accounts from Stealth Alarms, a company that has battled licensing issues
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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

EDMONTON, Alberta - Full-service security provider Voxcom Inc. increased its penetration here in January when it acquired 16,000 mostly residential accounts from the Alberta operations of Stealth Alarms.

The transaction, which is the largest to date for Voxcom, brings the company’s account base to 105,000. Full financial details of the transaction were not released.

“The deal increases our market share in Calgary and added to the customer base in Alberta,” said Russell Keddie, director of business development at Voxcom.

However, this did not take Stealth out of the security business - the company will continue to operate in other parts of Canada and the United States and holds on to 10,000 accounts.

Keddie said the two companies began talking in late fall, right around the same time that Stealth was embattled in licensing issues with the city of Calgary for failing to have a direct sellers license. The company, which said it did have an active license for its monitoring station Stargate, was hit with a suspension by the city in September, forcing it to cease operations for a 45-day period.

According to Keddie, Stealth’s former troubles did not hinder the transaction.

“It didn’t affect us at all,” he said. “We don’t think that any of Stealth’s problems stem from its alarm equipment or monitoring technology.”

For Brad Morrison, the president of Stealth who said that the company was treated unfairly in regards to the suspension, the move was beneficial for him as well as his customers.

“I think we got a very good deal and a very fair deal,” Morrison said. “Voxcom is one of the few companies I highly respect and they run a great monitoring station.”

As a result of the deal, Stealth will no longer operate in Alberta due to a non-compete agreement with Voxcom, and it also ceased operations through its dealer program, Morrison said.

For now, Stealth’s future includes focusing on the do-it-yourself side of security.

“I want to capture that market,” Morrison said.

The acquired accounts have been moved to Voxcom’s monitoring station in Edmonton, Alberta. Keddie said the company is prepared to combat any customer concerns in regards to the switch.

“We have a very extensive customer communications strategy,” he said. “This is a large step to be sure and we have been planning this for some time.”

According to Keddie, Voxcom will continue to look for opportunities to increase their market reach.

“We are always on the lookout for opportunities that make sense for Voxcom,” Keddie said. “Our focus is deliberate, sustainable growth. We take on activities that fit our philosophy and our existing infrastructure.”