ADS Security checks off its largest deal to date, Fox Alarm

Thursday, May 1, 2003

HUEYTOWN, Ala. - After years of operating as the largest independent in the area, Fox Alarm Co. has joined up with Nashville-based ADS Security in a transaction that significantly increases the size of ADS Security.

While ADS Security gains 15,000 accounts from the transaction, a company proficient in the commercial fire market and 35 employees, former owner Steve Hicks remains onboard while business partner Frank Love moves into retirement.

“Frank is 65 and he’s earned a much well-earned retirement,” said Hicks, who is now vice president and general manager of central Alabama operations for ADS Security. “I can’t sit still.”

The transaction was in the works for at least two years, said Mel Mahler, president of ADS Security, who operates 13 alarm companies in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. Like many of the other companies ADS Security bought over the years, Fox Alarm will retain its name and installation location.

For ADS Security, buying Fox Alarm represents the largest deal in its history. Instead of serving 35,000 customers, it now has 50,000 on the books and more than $22 million in annual revenues.

“So much of what they do is com-patible with what we do with our company,” said Mahler. “He’s got one of the best teams I’ve ever seen.”

What makes the companies compatible is there is very little overlap between the two, said Hicks. While Fox Alarm focuses on the commercial fire market and small to medium commercial accounts, ADS Security is proficient in integrated security systems. Both companies also serve the residential market.

“We specialize in several fields and we’re one of the first companies around to do large, industrial wireless systems,” said Hicks, who expects to increase Fox Alarms’ commercial and industrial volumes by tapping ADS Security’s expertise.

Fox Alarm also rounds out ADS Security’s long-range radio network. Both companies use AES Intellinet’s long-range radio network, but Fox Alarm had coverage in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Cullman, Ala., while ADS Security did not have coverage in those markets.

Though there is little duplication, each company does operate its own central station. That will change over the next few months as Fox Alarm merges its central station into ADS Security’s monitoring center in Nashville.