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ASG acquires two, opens two, goes after national accounts

ASG acquires two, opens two, goes after national accounts Super-regional ends year with $7 million in RMR

BELTSVILLE, Md.—By wrapping up the year with two major acquisitions that add $615,000 in RMR, opening two new branch offices, and having a plan in place for “significant sales force expansion,” ASG Security CEO Joe Nuccio said the company is ready for “explosive growth in 2012.”

“The strategy for 2011 was no different from prior years,” Nuccio said. ASG has been working on building out its infrastructure and adding new regions every year since its inception in 2003.

In the past week, ASG inked two deals: It bought LV Systems of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Texana Security, which has locations throughout Texas. Both companies have central stations that came along with the deal.

ASG bought Texana Security from Luther King Capital Management on Dec. 19. The deal includes 21,844 customers, $500,000 in RMR and 90 employees. Texana has locations in Weslaco (Security Depot), San Angelo (San Angelo Security Services), Abilene and Dallas. The company-owned and operated central station is located in San Angelo. Nuccio noted that St. Angelo and Abilene represent new platforms for expansion for ASG.

Brad Wallace, partner with Luther King Capital Management based in Fort Worth, Texas, said his firm had owned Texana for four years. “During that time, we tripled our RMR through acquisitions and organic growth,” he said. He predicted ASG would be an “excellent steward for Texana.” ASG approached Wallace about purchasing Texana and Wallace said the timing was right for both parties.

The LV Systems deal closed on Dec. 15. It includes 6,100 accounts, 26 employees and $115,000 in RMR. The company is 38 percent commercial and 62 percent residential and has its own company-owned and operated central station. The former owners are Andy Snyder and Ronald Lee.

ASG entered the Oklahoma market in December 2010 with the purchase of TnT Security, a predominantly residential company. “Oklahoma is the only state [where] we didn't have a commercial/government sector,” Nuccio said. “We were searching for a company and found Andy and Ron. This company is a gem for us. They have two channels: high-end resi and commercial.”

LV will complement the TnT operation and allow ASG to take all of the channels statewide “like the other branches [ASG operates around the country],” Nuccio said.

ASG experienced 32 percent net organic growth in 2011 in its Oklahoma operation, according to ASG CFO Ralph Masino. “And when you add the LV account base we have 60 percent total RMR growth in the past year in Oklahoma,” he said.

In addition to those two deals, ASG closed eight smaller deals around the country that totaled $187,000 in RMR, Masino said. ASG “closes 2011 with $7 million in RMR,” he added.

On top of the acquisitions, ASG announced that it's opening two new Texas branches, in Corpus Christi and Austin, bringing the number of ASG physical offices in Texas to 10 and the number across the country to 20.

“As sales VP, I love it when we do an acquisition and get platforms with a seasoned, fired-up sales force, and that's what we've got here,” said ASG's Bob Ryan. He called the Texana acquisition “one of the most important we've ever done,” and said the company will be adding salespeople in all of its branches around the country.

“The planned sales-rep head count in 2012 will be over 300 sales representatives across our territories and nearly 1,000 employees across the enterprise,” Ryan said. While each sales manager will only hire one to three sales reps, “over the whole enterprise its gives us a significant kick,” he said.

The Texana acquisition also includes a national account operation in Dallas. This will be folded into ASG's existing national account business headed by Ken Renko in Lancaster, Pa.

National accounts are not something ASG has talked much about in the past, and that's been deliberate, Ryan said. “We chose to grow slowly because of the economy. We don't want to make the fatal mistake others have made; we wanted to really make sure that we'd built out the infrastructure enough to provide the services,” Ryan explained. Now, ASG is in a position to do that.

Ryan said that while national security companies “slaughter each other over” the same national accounts, ASG plans to do something different. Its sales force will “actively uncover multi-location national accounts so we can send our National Accounts SWAT team in … to win that business.”

Nuccio said ASG's RMR increase will likely be north of 17 percent in 2012.

“Consistency is our secret sauce,” Nuccio said. “The plan is to keep expanding carefully and strategically. Our acquisition pipeline is robust across the country. We'll continue to open new markets and expand our sales force in 2012, and we have the platforms to continue to do that,” he added. “As the economy continues to improve, we have the chance to have a lights-out year in 2012.”


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