Vector makes a big buy in Florida

Just got word that Vector Security bought Certified Security Systems. This is a nice buy for Vector: CSS has 30K accounts and does business in Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Coast. Joe Hassan, CSS president, and John Sheridan, CSS co-founder will stay on, as will the company's 80 employees. This acquisition continues Vectors move south, which it began in earnest last year with expansions in N.C., S.C., Fla and Georgia. I'll have more on the deal soon. I spoke to Dave Merrick, (VP of communications at Vector) a little while ago. He said John Murphy and the CSS leadership are all in meetings today. Dave's trying to set up something for me tomorrow or Friday. I'll report back then. In the mean time, here's the official press release:
Vector Security, Inc. announces acquisition of Florida-based Certified Security Systems December 09, 2009: Pittsburgh, PA: Vector Security has announced the completion of a strategic acquisition of Florida-based Certified Security Systems business. The company, founded in 1999, services residential and commercial customers in four Florida operational areas, including Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Coast. This strategic alignment with Certified has been designed to further support Vector’s southward movement, which began last year with Vector’s important simultaneous expansion of the company’s dealer base in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Additionally, Vector opened a branch office location in Raleigh-Durham, NC. According to Vector’s President and CEO, John A. Murphy, “this strategic alignment with Certified Security Systems enabled Vector to gain a well trained and highly tenured senior management, sales, technical operations and administrative staff as well as additional customer base and office locations. Achieving success in the electronic security industry requires a well-rounded blend of technology, talent and trust. Our alignment with the management of Certified Security Systems, especially Joe and John, allows us to obtain all three assets; and continue successfully serving and expanding its organic customer base. It will further assist growing Vector Security’s Authorized Dealer group participants, who operate within Certified’s geographic footprint.” Joe Hassan and John Sheridan, co-founders of Certified, also commented that, “we are extremely privileged and humbled with the level of success Certified has achieved in its ten-year existence while installing almost 30,000 systems. Because of this good fortune, we have attracted acquisition interests from numerous industry and non-industry companies. Hands down, Vector was the perfect match. Their commitment to excellence in customer service is obvious with the many industry recognitions they receive. But, what the industry may not know is Vector’s tremendous commitment to the welfare, advancement, and quality of life for its employees. It is great to know our employees will have opportunities for growth and advancement that most industry companies, including Certified, would never be able to offer. We are extremely excited about this new chapter for Certified and Vector Security.” Murphy also believes that there is a high degree of similarity between Vector’s and Certified’s existing customer bases: “Certified has built its customer base in the usual electronic security, fire alarm, video surveillance and access control markets, but the company also shares a number of niche customer types with Vector Security. They include services to more than 17,000 monitored customers in gated residential communities, regionally based multi-site retailers, home builders and educational facilities. That’s the type of synergy we’re attracted to when considering an acquisition. It allows us to efficiently build future business opportunities on the complementary customer bases with which we are highly familiar and successful.” Vector Security will maintain Certified Security Systems’ staff of 80 individuals and highly experienced management, who will help lead Vector’s new Southern District. About Vector Security: Vector Security is a leading provider of electronic security services throughout 13 States and California. The company operates 31 branch offices and three business divisions, including (1) National Accounts, (2) Builder Services, (3) Authorized Dealer Services, and affiliate company Vector Security Patrol, which provides guard and patrol services. Vector is owned by The Philadelphia Contributionship, a private insurance company founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1752. Three of our founding directors – Benjamin Franklin, John Morton and Robert Morris – were also signers of the Declaration of Independence. According to the 2009 Industry Top 100, Vector Security ranks 7th in overall billings, 3rd in commercial services and 6th in residential services. Vector’s national accounts division ranks 4th in the provision of retail LP services and is the ONLY privately held firm within the top 4.