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Guard Pro's acquisition by Vyanet to help both companies

Guard Pro's acquisition by Vyanet to help both companies Arizona-based Guard Pro’s founder says he’ll concentrate on sales while Vyanet handles the back office and expands its footprint in the state

TUCSON, Ariz.—Vyanet Operating Group acquired Guard Pro Protection Services, based here, on Feb. 7. The two companies' new strategic relationship creates growth opportunities, according to Steve Abril, founder of Guard Pro.

Abril explained that the 15-year-old full-service security company that he co-owned with his wife will continue to operate as Guard Pro, and he and his four-person staff will continue to work there for Vyanet, which is based in Bend, Ore.

He and staff members will concentrate on sales and service and Vyanet will handle back-office functions, he said.

“It was appealing to us because we don't have to mess with the back end, the billing, the stuff that really gets tedious,” Abril explained. “We can concentrate on keeping our name in the market and getting busier, just full time sales. … I never got in the business to be an accounting person. My background is sales and that's how I built the business, so for me it's the best of both worlds.”

Guard Pro has about 600 customers and its business is split evenly between residential and commercial. Vyanet is a full-service, primarily residential security company that does business in Arizona, California and Hawaii, in addition to its home base of Oregon.

Vyanet President Tracy Jones said in a prepared statement: “We are delighted to have Guard Pro join with us to further expand our position in the Arizona market.” The company declined to add further comment.

Guard Pro has a strong reputation in the Arizona market, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

“We bend over backwards for the client we make sure that client is happy at all times,” Abril said. “We do what it takes. That's where we're strong—in the customer service.”

And the fact that nothing will change as far as Guard Pro's customers are concerned is a plus, he said. “So the client doesn't really know the difference, because it's the same people they're use to working with, the same name, same billing address, same everything,” Abril said. “For the person that was acquired, it's definitely appealing.”

With Vyanet's backing, Guard Pro also can now offer customers choices it couldn't before. “With Vyanet, we're able to offer programs that would be competitive with” big security competitors, Abril said. “We have a lot more flexibility.”

Capital One announced last year that it had closed a three-year, $20 million revolving line of credit with Vyanet.

Abril declined to discussed terms of Guard Pro's deal with Vyanet, other than to say: “My wife and I were very happy with it. … It was very fair and I felt like they really wanted us. They really wanted the reputation and the company.”

Dorsie Mosher of Long Grove, Ill.-based Davis Mergers and Acquisition Group represented Guard Pro in the transaction, and Abril praised Mosher's work. “We felt our broker really did his job,” he said.


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