AE Industrial Partners Acquires Cross-Fire & Security Co.

Cross-Fire will be the entry point for a new life-safety services platform as the private equity firm looks to further invest in the space.

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Private equity firm AE Industrial Partners (AEI) has acquired Cross-Fire & Security Co., a full-service fire and life-safety company based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

AEI, based here, up to now specialized in aerospace, defense and government services, space, power generation and specialty industrial markets. Cross-Fire will serve as the entry point for a new fire and life-safety services platform as the firm looks to make significant investments in this critically important industry, according to an announcement.

Cross-Fire is a full-service provider in the design, engineering, installation, maintenance, monitoring and servicing of life-safety systems. AEI has partnered with key industry executives to support Cross-Fire’s growth and will be strengthening its board of directors with the addition of Kelly Romano as chairman of the board, and Ed Cettina as a board member.

Romano, an AEI operating partner, has deep sector experience in fire & security and commercial building industries, including over 30 years in executive roles at United Technologies Corp. (UTC). Cettina most recently was the global COO of the construction management business of AECOM, and previously worked for 24 years in senior roles at Tishman Construction.

Founded in 1993, Cross-Fire has entrenched relationships with key suppliers, the New York City Fire Department and some of the largest commercial real estate firms in the country. A few of Cross-Fire’s high-profile projects include Citi Field Stadium (home to the New York Mets), St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Intrepid Museum.

Cross-Fire’s founders, Brendan Doorly and Kevin Maguire, will maintain an integral role in the company going forward.

“We see tremendous opportunity in consolidating the fragmented fire and life safety sector. We are excited to have the opportunity to create a unique platform with significant scale and national reach,” says Charlie Santos-Buch, partner at AEI. “We look forward to partnering with the founders, Brendan and Kevin, and our industry experts, Kelly, Ed and others, as we grow the business.”

In a joint statement, Doorly and Maguire comment, “Gaining a partner of AE Industrial’s caliber is exciting for Cross-Fire, and will open up new avenues for growth. Life-safety companies must be able to deliver quality services and gain the trust of customers to secure preeminent projects. With AE Industrial’s backing, and with the guidance of our new board members, we will have the resources to invest in the latest technologies and services and training of our staff to offer our customers the best solutions available as we grow in our target markets.”

They continue, “Cross-Fire’s mission is to become a preeminent life-safety company offering a full suite of services beyond our current fire alarm capabilities, expanding into suppression systems, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and more.”

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor and PricewaterhouseCoopers served as financial advisor to AEI. Goudsouzian & Associates served as the legal advisor to Cross-Fire.

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