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Vivint Solar

Vivint Live: personal touch monitoring; Vivint president takes on solar CEO duties

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Two recent developments from home automation/home security giant Vivint caught my eye. One is a new feature for homeowners called Vivint Live, which the company said links customers directly to a monitoring professional and helps reduce false alarms. The other is that Alex Dunn, who just recently became president of Vivint, is also now interim CEO for Vivint Solar.

Provo, Utah-based Vivint announced today that with Vivint Live, its customers can now use their touchscreen panels to communicate directly with a monitoring professional in the event of an alarm.

Here’s what the company had to say:
 

When an alarm is triggered, the signal is sent to Vivint's award-winning monitoring center, which is staffed 24 hours a day throughout the year. Upon receiving the alarm, a Vivint in-house monitoring professional speaks to the customer through the touchscreen panel. Acting as a first responder, the agent assesses the situation, confirms an emergency with the customer, and dispatches emergency personnel accordingly. With Vivint Live, homeowners have the personal, immediate response they need to work through any emergency situation and receive necessary care. …

… Vivint Live's quick response also allows Vivint to decrease the number of false alarms. Vivint monitoring professionals connect directly with the customer and then dispatch emergency personnel only during a legitimate emergency or when the customer cannot be reached.

In other news, the company also announced yesterday that Tanguy Serra has stepped down as CEO of Vivint Solar and that Dunn is now interim CEO. Serra said in a statement that it’s time for him to step away from day-to-day operations but that he still will be involved as an advisor to the company.

Vivint Solar, a company that Vivint created in 2011, is one of the fastest-growing residential solar power provider in the North America.

Dunn said in a statement: “Tanguy has helped us build an amazing business, and we are grateful for all of his hard work and dedication. Vivint Solar is what it is today because of his leadership. We are committed to expanding upon the foundation that he has built, and believe our solar solution to be a critical component to helping our customers save money and gain energy independence.”

 

Vivint Solar inks 24-month lease at California facility

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03/15/2013

VICTORVILLE, Calif.—Vivint Solar has just signed a 24-month lease at a 7,787-square-foot facility here, according to an article from vdailypress.com. Vivint Solar is a division of home automation/home security giant Vivint, based in Provo, Utah.

Vivint Solar surpasses competitors in Hawaii

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03/06/2013

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Solar, a solar energy company based here, has overtaken Hawaii-based solar energy leaders RevoluSun and Sunetric in sales on the island state, according to an article from Pacific Business News.

Vivint Solar welcomes first chief technology officer

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01/24/2013

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Solar, a provider of solar energy solutions, introduced Dan Rapp as the company’s inaugural chief technology officer, according to a company statement. Until it was purchased by Blackrock at the end of 2012, Vivint Solar was a division of Vivint.

Vivint Solar among Hawaii’s fastest growing solar power provider

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11/12/2012

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Solar, a provider of solar power solutions based here, announced it is one of Hawaii’s fastest growing solar photovoltaic providers, according to a company statement.

Kessler on the multiple paid for Vivint

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whenever a big company in the industry sells, there’s interest in the specific metrics of the deal.

I called Jeff Kessler at Imperial Capital to talk about the pending sale of Vivint to the largest private equity group in the country, Blackstone and the numbers.

It’s not every day there’s a $2 billion deal in the security industry.

While Kessler has high praise for Vivint, he says that certain metrics are not as off-the-charts as one might think, at least according to his calculations.

Kessler pointed out that the sale of Vivint for north of $2 billion includes not only Vivint’s home security/automation business, but 2GIG (a manufacturer of alarm/home automations systems) and Vivint Solar.

So while the total enterprise value for the is “north of $2 billion”, the enterprise value for Vivint home security/automation is less than $2 billion, he said.

Which doesn’t mean the valuation is not impressive, it just means “the multiple of RMR, EBITDA or steady state cash flow will be less than the total amount given for the entire company,” he said.

In terms of a multiple of RMR, Vivint has said it has $30 million in RMR. Kessler said RMR will be higher by the time the sale closes at the end of the year. “If you assume that RMR will be higher, and you assume that [Blackstone will pay] something less than $2 billion for Vivint [home automation/security], the multiple of RMR paid would be in the 50s.”

However, Kessler doesn’t like to talk about multiples of RMR. He prefers to look at multiples of steady state cash flow, because that “really gets rid of the accounting variance that really riddles EBITDA,” he said.

Based on his estimates of Vivint’s [home automation/security’s] steady state cash flow, he said the multiple to be paid is actually “at lower end of the 10 to 13 times [steady state cash flow] range paid for larger, quality companies over the past 18 to 24 months.”

Kessler based his assumption on certain transactions such as Bain & Hellman buying Securitas Direct; Ascent Capital buying Monitronics, Summit buying Central Security Group and Oak Hill Capital buying Security Networks.

(I'm quite certain I'll hear from others who's assumptions and math differ from Kessler's. Please leave a comment on this blog or contact me.)

The important thing is that if you're trying to figure out a mulitple of RMR, steady state cash flow or EBITDA, you need to back Vivint Solar and 2GIG out of the equation.

And if you're trying to figure out if your company's ripe for a sale, take a good look at what Vivint's doing, Kessler said. 

Kessler called Vivint is a “model company” that’s taking advantage of new technology and providing  “a value-added proposition at a premium.” The company’s average RMR per new subscriber is the highest at over $50, and they’re doing good things such as moving away from all summer-sales and increasing in-house sales resources.”

The Blackstone deal “should allow Vivint a lot of growth [with the] forward-looking ideas it has on its platter. … This will allow capital runway for projects like increasing the size of their non-summer sales force, increasing their ability to move into new markets such as small and medium sized commercial security, and to fund the growth and development of new products in home and business services, some of which are not even on paper yet.”

There will be lots more deals done in the security industry in the next year. The capital players are interested, but Kessler said it’s the security companies, like Vivint, what he calls the “haves,” those that are taking advantage of new technology and which have a finely tuned sales and marketing efforts that will be the most sought after.

Vivint to be sold to Blackstone in $2 billion deal

CEO Pedersen: Vivint has plans to become one of the largest national players in commercial security
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09/18/2012

PROVO, Utah—Vivint has entered into an agreement with the Blackstone Group to be acquired in a deal worth “north of $2 billion,” Todd Pedersen, Vivint CEO, told Security Systems News.

A Platinum Protection founder goes solar

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chance Allred, one of the founders of Platinum Protection, has come home to Vivint again—in a way.

Platinum, a summer-model sales company based in American Fork, Utah, in February this year abruptly laid off virtually all its employees and shut down its summer sales program. The company, founded in 2006, hasn’t talked publicly about the reasons why, but it appears to be in severe financial distress.

Since then, Vivint, a summer-model giant based in Provo, Utah, has hired about 130 of the unemployed Platinum sales reps, Vivint told me. It’s not clear what percentage of Platinum’s former sales force that represents, but it’s just 4 percent of Vivint’s sales force, that company said.

In addition, Allred in March was hired as VP of sales for Vivint Solar, a sister company of Vivint that offers residential customers the opportunity to purchase power generated by Vivint solar panels on their homes.

That’s kind of interesting because before helping to found Platinum, Allred used to work for APX Alarm, which is what Vivint was called before it rebranded last year to highlight the fact it offers home automation and other services beyond security.

Firsts on the first day of ISC West

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today was the first day of ISC West 2012 and I started my day off at a Honeywell breakfast where Scott Harkins, the new president of Honeywell Security Products, talked about a series of “firsts” the company was announcing at the show.

“We’re very excited that this show, the ISC show, is where we’re launching the great technology revolution in the intrusion space,” Harkins said.

He cited a series of products and technologies that he said are “firsts for us and first for our industry” include 2G/3G/4G radio, “one module that can do all three,” switching to whichever has the strongest signal. “We’re the only manufacturer in the industry with that,” Harkins said.

Among other innovations, Harkins said Honeywell’s Wi-Fi enabled system is “clearly a first,” and also said the company is the first to have an IP video system “that’s literally three clicks to get up and running.”

Honeywell wasn’t the only company talking about “firsts” today.

I stopped by the Cooper Notification booth, where Ted Milburn, vice president, marketing, and Jacquiline Townshend, marketing channel leader told me about that company was having a soft launch at the show of its Exceder LED, which Milburn described as “the first to replace the traditional strobe with an LED.”

They said the device is energy efficient, having a lower current draw than a traditional notification device, and is easier and less costly to install and has a smaller profile.

The device, which Townshend said would be available in May, is priced the same as a traditional one. “We think if the function is the same, the price should be the same,” Milburn said.

Over at the Fire-Lite by Honeywell booth, customers were acting like a product that the company introduced about four years ago was brand new this year.

While I was there a steady stream of people were showing up to learn more about Fire-Lite’s IPGSM-DP Commercial Fire Communicator, which is used to upgrade a fire system from reporting to the central station by phone lines to one that uses an IP or GSM cellular path.

The product saves end users money by letting them get rid of their telephone lines, and dealers can use that fact as a selling point to generate more business for themselves, the company says.

Beth Welch, public relations manager for Honeywell Fire Systems, told me interest in the IPGSM has suddenly taken off. “We’re just now seeing the real, true adoption of this. It’s a landslide,” she said. “Dealers are using this to get their foot in the door with new accounts.”

She said there are a variety of reasons why the product has taken off now, but believes one is just that AHJ’s are seeing how well it works and so are endorsing it.

I also talked today to Alex Dunn, COO of Provo, Utah-based home security/home automation giant Vivint. Vivint has to be the first security company to start a new company to sell solar panels to residential customers. Vivint Solar was created almost a year ago.

Although the two companies are separate, I asked Dunn if there was any sales crossover. He said there was and will continue to be.

“I think you’ll see in the future more integration from a sales perspective, even from a technology perspective, when the control panel integrates with the solar panels, Dunn said.

Among other people I met on the show floor today was Don Moore, president of Redondo Beach, Calif.-based Moore Protection, who stopped by the Security Systems News’ booth for our “meet the editors” event. Moore’s security company is the first to create its own “Security Oscar”: At the time of the Academy Awards each year it gives out the Morpheus Award to a film that best depicts the use of security. This year “Tower Heist” was the winner.

It was great to meet Don in person and while chatting, he told me another interesting fact about his company. It turns out that the graphics for the company’s lawn sign were designed some years ago by George Lois, an advertising wizard who is known as “The Original Mad Man,” a real-life version of Don Draper on the AMC television series.

Now, that’s got to be a first!

 

Vivint branches out from security to solar

It creates new company to sell solar roof panels to customers door-to-door
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10/20/2011

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Solar, a new company created in June by the security/home automation Vivint—both of which are based here—is taking Vivint’s successful door-knocking model and employing it to sell solar panels to residential customers.

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