Per Mar picks up local guard firm

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

DAVENPORT, Iowa - To add a piece to its security officer complement in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area, Per Mar Security Services has purchased competitor Nighthawk Security for an undisclosed sum.

With Nighthawk, a five-year-old company, according to Bill Jackson, president of Per Mar Security, comes 60 security officers based in Nighthawk’s Cedar Rapids office. That location will be closed and operations consolidated into Per Mar’s existing location in Cedar Rapids.

“We have an existing base of business in Cedar Rapids and this will add to our coverage there,” Jackson said. The company has 350 employees in that location, servicing about 2,100 customers.

Because of the company’s geographic location, Nighthawk was a good fit for Per Mar, Jackson said.

In its 50-year history of providing guard services, Per Mar has completed about 45 acquisitions, a good percentage of which have been guard related, Jackson said.

“We are always open to growing our business, not just organically with our existing operations, but also looking for opportunities to make selected acquisitions,” Jackson said.

Per Mar sees opportunities in the guard business as well as using security officers to provide response services, although there are few areas in the company’s coverage area where alarm verification, and alarm response services, are an issue, he said.

“We do offer it in four or five of our markets, but we have always done it as an value-added service,” Jackson said. “It’s been well-received and customers do take advantage of it.”

About 45 percent of Per Mar’s operations are in the guard sector. The company has 19 locations in five states and employs about 1,500 security officers.