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Mountain Alarm acquires NICO Electronic Systems

Mountain Alarm acquires NICO Electronic Systems Eric Garner talks with SSN about how the deal came about, post-deal focus

Mountain Alarm acquires NICO Electronic Systems

OGDEN, Utah—Mountain Alarm Fire & Security, a provider of security and fire protection services and equipment, announced it has acquired NICO Electronic Systems, a Helena, Mont.-based provider of security systems design and fire alarm installation, as well as other services.

Eric Garner, President and CEO of Mountain Alarm and a former Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner (Class of 2016), told SSN that the acquisition came about following the retirement of Bill Niehoff, who owned NICO for 46 years.

“NICO has been an integrator in Helena for close to 50 years and has been a good competitor of ours,” he explained. “We've had an office in Helena since we acquired Kenco Technologies back in June of 2014. My Vice President, Dirk Bauwens, introduced me to Bill Niehoff in the summer of 2018. We became friends and stayed in touch over the last three years.

“Bill promised me he'd let me know when he was ready to retire. I promised him that Mountain Alarm would be a great home for his team members and his customers. The time came this year for Bill to retire. Bill plans to spend more time in the mountains of Montana during the summer and fall but plans to work for us part time doing fire alarm inspections in the winter. NICO's customer base is about 75 percent commercial, so it fit perfect with our heavy commercial customer base.”

With 14 offices across Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona, Garner added that the acquisition of NICO aligns with Mountain Alarm’s goal of continued growth in the industry.

“At Mountain Alarm we are focused on growing organically and through acquisition,” he explained. “NICO was our second acquisition in 2021 and our ninth since 2019. We have several more acquisitions to close before year end.  We are the preferred buyer in all our markets, and we are well capitalized. We recognize the value of these businesses and pay a market clearing price for them.

“Post close we focus on elevating the customer experience. We do this in two ways, one by resolving customer needs in one call and two by striving to provide same day or next day service. Our goal is to have one too many service technicians in every market we serve so we can be responsive to customer needs.”

Garner added, “Along with all of the outstanding products and services customers enjoyed from NICO, we’re hoping they will enjoy new features available to them, including automated low-priority signal notification, Alarm Chat, and our five-diamond UL-listed redundant monitoring centers.”

As stated on Mountain Alarm’s online blog, customers familiar with NICO’s phone number – (406) 442-7857 – will still be able to use that number for sales, service, monitoring and customer service, and will also be able to reach Mountain Alarm at its main Helena number - (406) 449-2696. The business will operate from Mountain Alarm’s current Helena office located at 3228 Centennial Drive.

“We’re proud to have the NICO customers join the Mountain Alarm family, and we look forward to providing all of their life-safety needs along with an outstanding service experience,” the company noted on its blog.


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