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SSN Exclusive: Luca Longhin, Deputy CEO of Nice Group USA and Nortek Control

SSN Exclusive: Luca Longhin, Deputy CEO of Nice Group USA and Nortek Control Acquiring Nortek Security & Control is a “Once in a Lifetime” Opportunity

SSN Exclusive: Luca Longhin, Deputy CEO of Nice Group USA and Nortek Control

YARMOUTH, Maine—Last month saw a major M&A take place in the security industry as Nice, a global manufacturer of smart home, security, and home & building automation solutions, acquired technology developer Nortek Security & Control, LLC from Melrose Industries.

The acquisition, valued at $285 million, marked the largest investment to date by Nice and solidified the company’s commitment to an increased presence in the North American market, as well as expanding its footprint globally.

The integration of the two security technology companies will allow Nice to expand its portfolio to provide integrated solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and government customers, while doubling its R&D capacity in order to further accelerate innovation and expansion of platform-based integrated solutions.

In this exclusive interview, Luca Longhin, Deputy CEO of Nice Group USA and Nortek Control, speaks with Security Systems News on what factors led to Nice acquiring Nortek Control, and how this integration will impact the security industry going forward.

SSN: Please talk about the factors that led to Nice acquiring Nortek Security & Control.

Longhin: With the strategy that we set up and updated a couple of years ago, there were two very important markets to add. One of these two markets was North America. The idea to find an opportunity in this market was really part of the strategy that we shared a couple of years ago.

With this opportunity, we really think that this is once in a lifetime. It was very important for us to have the opportunity to get on board all the knowledge, all the products, all the history that Nortek has, in particular, for North America. 

We evaluated the opportunity exactly in line with what our strategy was of growing on a worldwide basis. In particular, North America is an incredibly interesting market. This is really a step up in our presence, and even our focus in this market that is particularly interesting.

On the other hand, I have to say that if we take a look at our activities in North America, and Nortek in North America, there is very little overlapping in terms of products, in terms of channels, and so on. We considered this as incredible opportunity to put together both of the experiences and really having one of the most interesting offers made from one provider in the market that is really creating different channels with a differentiation of products.

We are close if you consider the different businesses, but then there is very little overlap. Those were the two points that were very interesting when we evaluated the acquisition of Nortek.

On the same page, the fact that Nortek has a focus in North America, and Nice, as a group, has 24 subsidiaries all over the world, we thought that was very interesting for the evolution. We could leverage all of the knowledge of Nortek in North America and use all the channels in this evolution network for Nice in the rest of the world.

These basically are the main points that brought us to the acquisition.

SSN: By making its largest investment to date, how will this acquisition expand Nice’s footprint and capabilities globally?

Longhin: With this acquisition, we go up to 3,000 employees globally. We manage 14 factories and 16 technical centers in different regions around the world, including two in the United States and one in Canada. We have operations in over 100 countries.

With this acquisition, the Nice vision that we love to share is “A World Without Barriers,” which is deployed through a global mindset executed thanks to 24 regional offices.

It is the beginning of a new chapter for us because of the size of the acquisition, because of the knowledge and background that Nortek is bringing. We are pretty sure that this is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Nice.

There is also a very important part related to research and development because Nortek is extremely strong on this. Obviously, this is basically doubling the size of our power, in terms of research and development on a worldwide basis. That is a very important impact in our organization.

SSN: How does Nice’s acquisition of Nortek impact the security industry as a whole?

Longhin: We think that with the combined entity, we can assume a leadership position in the North American market, offering probably the most complete portfolio for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. I really think we are now able to offer the most robust portfolio in the industry, and all partners will eventually have access to this portfolio from a single-source provider. I think that this is really what is changing for us in the market.

Nice is a channel-focused and customer-centric company, and this acquisition not only enables a broader portfolio but also expanded distribution and services capabilities.

The idea is really to combine the resources of both organizations and be able to deliver an offer to our partners, in terms of dealers and end users, a better experience and obviously a larger offer.

SSN: With Nortek considered to be one of the world’s largest developers of access control solutions, what impact do you think Nice’s acquisition will have on the access control market?

Longhin: We see great opportunities. We were missing some parts in some technologies to complete our offer, and we really think that, for instance with ELAN – one of the brands that we’re bring on board with Nortek – we are really able to create a full experience for the customer.

Even talking about the access control solution now, putting together the resources, we think we can make a jump in the offer that we are able to deliver. Talking about connectivity, talking about compatibility, and all these things related to how to combine the different technologies and products is a huge opportunity for us. Basically, we want to combine all our offers and integrate all our offers to be, as I said, one provider that is able to support all the needs of our customers and dealers.

SSN: How will Nice and Nortek work together to continue providing integrated solutions for their respective customer bases?

Longhin: For now, it’s business as usual. We want to work on a smooth integration between two companies, but obviously we want to keep the priority on business, on the partnerships with the dealers that we have, with the expectation for the end of the year.

Then for sure, all Nortek Control and Nice partners will continue to be assisted by the trusted products they know and love, and truly have access to a broader portfolio.

At the same time, we started an integration project that will lead the organization to combine the offer, but in a smart way to the market.

Right now, we are working on the integration, we have the plan for the integration, but we want to be focused on delivering results for the end of the year. 2021 will still be a year of knowledge and projects, and 2022 we will probably see some news on the full integration.

SSN: Please talk about any new R&D initiatives being introduced in the coming months to continue accelerating innovation and expansion of platform-based integrated solutions.

Longhin: Nortek is very focused on all research and development, and we are doubling our R&D capability with this acquisition. It is clear that we are expecting a boost in all roadmaps of new products that we have in North America, for sure as a priority, in particular, but even for all the technologies that we can apply to different markets all over the world.

SSN: What markets will Nice be targeting next for future acquisitions, either globally or in North America? Are there any more acquisitions on the horizon for Nice?

Longhin: What I can tell you for sure is that the history of Nice is made by acquisitions. I don’t think this will be the last one.


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