Alarm company buyouts and mergers create opportunities in the Indianapolis Metro Area.

When security alarm companies are purchased or merged this creates change. As well all know, change can be good and not so good. Here is a brief overview of my 30 years plus experience.

One of the largest in my recollection was when ADT purchased Brinks. ADT acquired Brinks Home Security for a reported 52x their recurring revenue. That was and still is huge. The local Brinks office was a very good one. They had experienced management, techs and sales reps. They ran a good business and were normally very good competition. ADT was not so good, not so bad, just big BLUE. The biggest thing is they took out one of the best companies which helped them and the rest of us.

Then a large holding company acquired ProtectionOne and then the same company bought ADT after Tyco split ADT Commercial (branded Tyco and since sold to Johnson Controls) and Residential (keeping the ADT name). That was a huge deal.

Lessons Learned from a Challenging Hike

Most recently, Defender Security (an Indianapolis-based company) sold to ADT, who branded and sold the vast majority of their accounts. Defender was a phenomenal success for many years master the telemarketing low-end sale then using the technician as sales people in disguise with quota ranging from like $ 600-1000 per job. There was a news expose’ out of Chicago about questionable sales practices and that seemed to take a lot of air out of Defenders sales along with leadership changes.

Another big one on the commercial side was Stanley Security acquiring Honeywell’s Security’s installation business. James Covert came out smelling like a rose, once again. He definitely is the gold Midas touch after his selling high Security-link to Ameritech, then buying it back much lower from Ameritech, then turning around and selling it to ADT for a higher dollar amount. He pretty much did the same thing again buying Honeywell Security from Honeywell Corp then selling to Stanley Security for a handsome profit.

Guardian Protection has made few of their own here in the Indy area including Shield Security and Ranger American, a large ADT dealer at the time.

Ownership Changes and Acquisitions in the Alarm Industry

Nelson alarm founders sold their interests a few years ago to an out-of-the-industry owner and they have made a few smaller buys including Guardhouse alarm.

Prior Nelson had bought Covert Security, Apple Alarm, and others.

A similar local purchase was Malhaupts out of Lafayette acquiring General Alarm company.

A few years back, FE Moran out of Illinois purchased two local alarm companies here in Indianapolis namely; Meyer Security then Sentinel Alarm, which seemed to work out fine for them. They held and combined them for several years until recently FE Moran sold to Securitas, the large guard service business for $ 80 million. In this merger acquisition, they have apparently changed Central Stations. In the past few weeks, we have received numerous calls and have been able to transition several accounts over to our alarm service. It is interesting how some companies are good at this and terrible at that and vice-versa.

  • Organic growth, like organic eating, is healthiest for companies and consumers.
  • It’s a slower process but yields lasting benefits.
  • Many businesses have a short lifespan.
  • My father sold Hoosier Alarm & Security to ASI.
  • ASI later sold to Central Security in Indianapolis.

OnGuard has had the same owner, me, for 10 plus years. We have looked at a merging a time or two but it wasn’t a good fit for a variety of reasons. I would only consider such if it was a WIN / WIN / WIN for everyone. Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense. Being local and independent is generally a good thing.

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