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Wayne Huizenga, Who Once Tried to Acquire ADT, Dead at 80

Longtime security industry professionals may recall in the late 1990s when Ameritech Corp. purchased the security business of Republic Industries, which was controlled by Huizenga.

Wayne Huizenga, the billionaire investor who once tried and failed to buy ADT, has died. He was 80.

Among his high profile business dealings, Huizenga made Waste Management, Blockbuster Video and AutoNation the leaders in their respective industries. Blockbuster closed all of its stores in 2014 as consumers shifted to streaming and on demand video, but Waste Management is the leading provider of refuse and recycling services in North America, and AutoNation is the largest U.S. auto dealership chain. Huizenga also co-founded Extended Stay America, the long-term hotel chain.

He also used his wealth to buy professional baseball, football and hockey teams. At one time, he owned three sports teams where he lived in South Florida — the Florida Marlins, the Florida Panthers and the Miami Dolphins. He was worth $2.8 billion, according to Forbes.

Huizenga lost out on an attempt to acquire ADT for more than $4 billion in 1996 to Tyco Int’l. Although a deal appeared imminent, he abandoned the transaction when Republic Industries suffered a steep drop in the value of its shares.

Long-time security industry professionals may recall in the late 1990s when Ameritech Corp. purchased the security business of Republic Industries, which was controlled by Huizenga. The purchase for $610 million added 310,000 clients to Ameritech’s Securitylink business, making it the No. 2 security provider behind ADT.

According to a New York Times, Huizenga did not want to spend time building up the Securitylink division, which generated a small percentage of Republic’s revenue. However, Ameritech had it sights on selling monitoring services to its phone customers, thereby providing an easier path to unseating ADT.

In 2001, Cambridge Protection Industries acquired Securitylink from Ameritech Corp., a subsidiary of SBC Communications. At the time, the company provided security monitoring services to more than 1 million residential, commercial and government customers throughout North America.

Huizenga died on Thursday after succumbing to “a decades-long battle with cancer,” Bob Henninger, executive vice president at Huizenga Holdings, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

About the Author

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Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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One response to “Wayne Huizenga, Who Once Tried to Acquire ADT, Dead at 80”

  1. He really was a gentlemen and true leader. One of my first security installations I did was for WAYNE and MARTI when I moved to Florida in 1983. He remained a client for many years. Later in years we had some further business dealings and he was always good for some sound advice.

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