Fire firm RJA Group enhances security services

By buying Sako & Associates, RJA can integrate security and fire for its customers
Tuesday, January 1, 2002

CHICAGO-Well-known fire design, engineering and installation firm RJA Group recently added security services to its line-up with the acquisition of Sako & Associates.

The deal enables The RJA Group, the parent company of Rolf Jensen & Associates, Fire Protection Management Inc., and Protection Knowledge Concepts Inc., to provide security to its fire customers under its own auspices. Previously, the company teamed up with other firms to provide security related services.

"The technology of fire protection and security is crossing paths," said George Toth, senior vice president with RJA Group, which employs 275 people and reports annual revenues of more than $30 million. "We acquired Sako & Associates because our clients want to integrate fire and security in their building operations."

Sako, a $1.5 million in revenue company, becomes RJA Group's fourth subsidiary. It will in turn offer fire services by calling upon the expertise of its fellow subsidiary companies. The price tag for Sako was not released.

"We're excited to go out and handle projects on a turn-key basis," said Rich Mahnke, vice president of operations with Sako & Associates. The company's founder, William Sako, joins The RJA Group as senior vice president and will head up operations and growth for the new subsidiary.

Sako, which worked with RJA Group in the past, already has doubled its size to accommodate additional business. The company added offices in Washington, New York and Los Angeles by joining up with other RJA Group subsidiaries. Sako is headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Each of The RJA Group's subsidiaries, in turn, expect to benefit from the Sako acquisition since security services will now be offered in-house.

"One of the attractive things of the acquisition was that we share many of the same clients," said Toth. "What we're finding is that in many cases we were on the same project yet but didn't know it."

The RJA Group, an employee owned corporation, has 19 offices in the U.S. with anywhere from one to all four divisions housed in a single location. The company also established more than 30 strategic alliances to facilitate projects overseas.