Universal Protection Service Expands Footprint in Southeast With Acquisition

By Ashley Willis

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Universal Protection Service has acquired Security Forces Inc. (SFI) of Charlotte, N.C., and its electronic security systems company SFI Electronics (SFIE). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal allows Universal to expand its footprint in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Additionally, the recently merged company will service several thousand commercial accounts, Universal Media Communications Manager Natasha Ganes tells SSI. She declined to give an exact number of accounts.

“We’ve known SFI and SFIE for many years,” Ganes says. “We’ve worked closely as strategic partners on various national and regional account. When we decided to expand geographically, we wanted a platform company that shared our same values and philosophies. There was not a better company out there than SFI.”

One of the benefits of the deal includes both companies bringing new technology and programs to each other, Ganes says. SFI will provide Universal customers with a client portal, while SFIE will bring new technology platforms. For SFI clients, Universal will offer training programs and value-added services, such as remote video monitoring. Additionally, SFI and SFIE customers will benefit from a 24-hour customer service center and database management services.

Since 1949, SFI has provided security guard services and has more than 3,500 employees located in 31 offices throughout the southeastern states. With so many people on staff, will Universal keep SFI personnel?

“The team at SFI is staying,” Ganes says. “They are the platform for Universal to continue to grow and expand. Without them, we would not have completed the acquisition.”

Universal provides security solutions, consultations and investigations to a number of markets, including education, healthcare, government, petrochemical, retail and more. Although the company maintains that it is now the sixth largest security company in the United States and the 4th largest U.S.-owned security organization, Universal’s focus is to offer the best services to clients.

“We will continue to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions that further diversify our service offerings and expand our nationwide presence,” Ganes says. “But our focus will always remain on being the best in the business, not the biggest.”

Universal Protection Service is a division of Universal Services of America. It includes Universal Building Maintenance, Universal Protection Security Systems and Universal Fire/Life Safety Services.

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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