Rentokil gains U.S. presence, buys NTC Ele.

It plans to marry guard service with electronic security, an approach taken in Europe
Monday, September 1, 2003

ALSIP, Ill. - Early last year company executives at Rentokil Initial, a European company that provides a myriad of services ranging from pest control and facility management to tropical plant rentals and security, set their sights on buying an electronic security company in the United States.

Now company officials have found their match in NTC Electronics, a Chicago-area systems integrator bought by Initial Security, a Rentokil subsidiary that operates a guard business with 9,000 employees in the United States.

Though Initial Security officials were unable to release the purchase price of the deal, the acquisition is considered strategically important as the company looks to build an electronic security company here and synergies between its existing guard business.

According to Kevin Robison, president of Initial Electronics, the division that NTC Electronics will fall under, NTC Electronics was one of 10 businesses looked at by Initial Security. Its large presence in the Chicago market where Initial Security already operates a guard business, and NTC Electronics’ experience in the electronic security market made it the right fit.

For NTC Electronics owners Dick Norwood and Dick Cusson, the deal not only provided them with capital to grow their business, but an exit strategy for when they decide to retire in a few years.

“We felt very comfortable with them,” said Norwood, chief executive officer of NTC Electronics. “They’re keeping the name NTC Electronics and they want to bolt on other companies.”

Other acquisitions are part of the plan, said Robison, but most likely the company will wait until early 2004 to consider new acquisitions. “Rentokil is a cautious company and we understand that making an acquisition is a tough deal,” he said. “Our attitude is let’s take our time.”

In the meantime, NTC Electronics provides Initial Security with a solid base. Besides an office here, the company also has a location in Indianapolis. This year company officials expect to record close to $15 million in business.

In the few short months since the May acquisition, the guard and electronic security business have already garnered contracts together.

Robison expects each company will continue to tap into the other’s expertise, as demand for a one-source security provider increases.