Upstate telecom buys American Alarm

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

FREDONIA, N.Y.-A local telephone provider that serves customers in southwest New York and northwest Pennsylvania has acquired American Alarm, a security installation company based in Buffalo.

DFT Communications plans to roll the installation company and its 8,000 accounts into its own security subsidiary, DFT Security. It will also use the new customer base for upselling opportunities for the telecom's Internet, local telephone and long distance services, said Mark Maytum, president and chief operating officer of DFT Communications and DFT Security.

American's business will mean a boost of about $2 million annually, or about 10 percent. DFT's security operations make up about 10 percent of the telecom's revenues, Maytum said. DFT Communications, which has about 40,000 customers, is owned by Lynch Interactive Corp. in Rye, N.Y.

Of the 8,000 accounts, about 6,000 were owned by American. The remaining 2,000 were wholesale accounts from American's small contract monitoring business. About 800 of the wholesale accounts belonged to DFT Security, Maytum said. The accounts were about 30 percent commercial and 70 percent residential. American monitored its company-owned accounts in western New York from its downtown Buffalo central station.

"We have plans to expand the offering of services, as well as boost the wholesale side," Maytum said. "That was one of the reasons for getting into this."

DFT will absorb the bulk of American's 22 employees, including the general manager, Jim Brass, and former owner, Anthony Dina. American Alarm officials declined to comment on the sale, but Dina said in a statement that the "new alliance between the two companies combines the technology and dedication to service of two leading companies in the industry."

The deal was brokered by Profitability Consultants of Buffalo.