Mace Exits Alarm Monitoring, Sells Off Facility

By Rodney Bosch

LANCASTER, Pa. — Security Partners, a wholesale monitoring provider based here, has acquired Mace Central Station in Anaheim, Calif. The deal extends Security Partners’ footprint further west, following its purchase of San Antonio-based Response Center USA in August. Terms of the Mace CS deal were not disclosed.

Adding a third central station will allow Security Partners to create a national monitoring solution with true redundancies and operational efficiencies from coast to coast, Michael Bodnar, president, Security Partners, tells SSI.

“Our agreement with Mace affords us the opportunity to fully integrate three UL-Listed, CSAA Five Diamond monitoring centers, in three time zones, with separate power grids across the United States, to greatly improve our redundancy and alarm response for our dealers,” Bodnar says. “Our goal is to provide our dealers with the service and back-office support they need to grow their businesses.”

Security Partners will add roughly 400 dealers to its network, bringing its total dealer account base to 170,000. The deal allows Security Partners to use the Mace brand for up to six months upon which the monitoring center will operate under the Security Partners brand.

The Mace CS acquisition represents the culmination of Security Partner’s goal to create a national monitoring network, Bodnar says. “From the outset of our negotiations, it was clear that we had many synergies with the Mace team, including a keen desire to develop a national footprint for our dealers, and also to provide them with new products and RMR-generating services.”

Pat Egan, CEO of Security Partners and president of Select Security, tells SSI his strategic plan is to continue surveying the marketplace for future acquisitions that further expand the monitoring firm’s national reach. Could another deal be consummated in the 2014 timeframe?

“Yes, hopefully in the South but we have several targets throughout the United States,” he says.

Mace CS is a subsidiary of Cleveland-based Mace Security Int’l, a publicly traded company best known as a manufacturer of defense pepper sprays. The firm entered the alarm monitoring space in 2009 after acquiring Central Station Security Systems (CSSS), which would become the cornerstone of Mace’s then fledgling Security Services Division. For the past two years the facility has been managed by industry veteran Michael Joseph, who will stay on in his current role.

“[Mace’s corporate president and CEO] John McCann and I both had the vision of making Mace Central Station a true national company with redundant facilities. We have really had tremendous progress building the central station and gaining national recognition these past two years together, but redundancy had eluded us,” Joseph tells SSI.

Although it has exited from the alarm monitoring business, Joseph says Mace Security Int’l is developing a variety of programs to enhance its portfolio on several levels, including Mace-branded personal defense and security products that are in development for introduction in 2014.

“[The acquisition] enhances Mace Security International’s ability to focus on product development and service offerings that will be available to the entire group of Security Partner dealers,” he says.

Peter Giacalone, who served as president of Mace Security Services following the acquisition of CSSS, says he is not surprised by Mace’s decision to sell off the monitoring center.

“If Mace wasn’t going to pursue acquisitions and achieve faster organic growth to gain a larger footprint, then as a publicly traded company their money was maybe better spent in other areas where they can get a better return on investment,” he says.

Giacalone, who operates an independent consulting business and is a contributor to SSI’s “Monitoring Matters” column, is intimately familiar with the technology used at Mace CS. He and Morgan Hertel, who formerly served as Mace CS’s director of operations and is now with Rapid Response Monitoring, are credited with upgrading the facility following the 2009 acquisition. 

Giacalone says the facility is well positioned to offer dealers nationwide leading-edge services due in part to its Stages automation processing system by Secure Global Solutions, which has been integrated with Videofied’s video verification security monitoring system.

“It is a small operation but it has some great technology,” Giacalone says. “There is a lot of synergy with Security Partners’ existing operations. Pat runs a world-class organization. There is big competition for central stations in the west, but he has an opportunity to wonderful things with the platform as he folds it into his business.” 

Rodney Bosch is Senior Editor of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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