SMS Integration Expands Into Northeast Georgia With Lint Security Buy
SMS picks up nearly 1,000 accounts in the deal and will maintain the Lint Security brand in Gainesville, Ga., with an eye for further expansion.
FRANKLIN, N.C. — SMS Integration, based here, has expanded its reach into northeast Georgia with the acquisition of Lint Security, a provider of security systems, fire alarms and custom home theater systems.
Terms of the transaction, which closed Sept. 1, were not disclosed.
SMS, formerly Smoky Mountain Systems, is owned and operated by Dom D’Ascoli, a security veteran whose long-time service to the industry includes a two-year term (2010-’11) as president of the Electronic Security Association (ESA).
D’Ascoli tells SSI that he and Lint Security Founder James Lint served together for more than 20 years as board members of the Georgia Electronic Life Safety & Systems Association (GELSSA). Lint’s son, Jim, took over the Gainesville-based family business about two years ago. Earlier this year, the younger Lint approached D’Ascoli — both families and have been business associates and friends for decades — to discuss a potential sale.
“I’ve known Jimmy since he was a little kid. It was a great mesh of companies. They do a lot of things like we do. We put the deal together pretty quickly,” D’Ascoli explains.
SMS acquired nearly 1,000 accounts, roughly a 50/50 mix of residential and commercial clients. Along with the current management team and technicians, the Lint Security brand will be maintained going forward.
“We are going to keep the Lint brand because it is a big name in the [Blue Ridge Mountains],” says D’Ascoli. “They border on the same mountains that we border on. We probably have 500-600 accounts in Georgia. We will start to move those under the Lint name as well.”
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Lint Security designs, installs and services security and fire/life-safety systems, including access control, intrusion, video surveillance, along with business phones and computer networks. Founded in 1969, the company’s roster of customers includes schools, retail, restaurants and more.
With its latest acquisition, SMS now operates three offices, including one in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where it purchased Newton Communications Systems in 2015. D’Ascoli tells SSI he is eyeing additional acquisitions to expand the company’s current three-state footprint, and potentially beyond.
“If the right deal came up in Florida we probably would take advantage of it,” he says. “Watch us in the next couple years. I’m starting to enjoy acquisitions. I am probably going to try and do a lot more of them and eventually try and step out of the day-to-day stuff.”
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