The fire, safety and security sector has recorded strong consolidation recently from private equity-backed companies or as platform investments. Officials at PE firms and their portfolio companies have said that the sector has attractive characteristics such as repeatable business models, high customer retention rates and nice growth prospects. PE Hub details some of the PE firms involved, starting with Wind Point Partners, which has completed 19 acquisitions since 2020.
1. Wind Point Partners
Pavion, a portfolio company of the Chicago-based Wind Point Partners, completed the biggest number of deals in this sector this year. Wind Point acquired Pavion in 2020, and since then the company has completed 19 acquisitions.
Recent examples include two deals in August, one being the acquisition of RFI Enterprises, a San Jose, California-based security system supplier. Earlier this month, the company also acquired REECE Complete Security Solutions, a Portland, Oregon-based provider of security integration services for the data center, utility, healthcare and education markets.
In July, Pavion acquired K&J Integrated Systems, a Burlington, Massachusetts-based provider of low-voltage installation and support services for the commercial, distribution and higher-education sectors. In May the company acquired Premier Security Solutions, a California-based provider of commercial fire alarm, security and wireless transmission services.
2. AE Industrial Partners
Altus Fire and Life Safety, a company that is backed by AE Industrial Partners, in June acquired Priority Fire and Security, a Clinton, Massachusetts-based provider of design, installation, monitoring, maintenance and repair services for fire and security systems.
Priority Fire founder and president Steve Prior will maintain an active role at the company. “This marks Altus’s second addition in the past month following our acquisition of CIA, and we’re pleased to welcome Steve and the outstanding Priority Fire team as we continue to become one of the leading consolidators in the fire and safety industry,” noted John Adams, Altus CEO.
In May the company acquired Crime Intervention Alarm, a York, Pennsylvania-based provider of installation, monitoring, inspection and service for security and surveillance systems, access control and fire systems.
Formed in May 2021, Altus is a fire and life safety services platform. These two deals are the company’s eighth and ninth acquisitions.
GTCR, based in Chicago, earlier this month agreed to acquire a commercial security and safety provider it previously owned, this time through a carve-out from ADT for $1.6 billion, eight years after selling the business to Apollo Global Management.
GTCR initially bought the company, known as Protection 1, in 2010 for $828 million and exited to Apollo in 2015. In 2016, Apollo went on to acquire ADT and merged it with Protection 1, before taking Boca Raton-based ADT public in 2018.
David Donnini, managing director and head of business and consumer services at GTCR, told PE Hub earlier that his firm liked the space, and that it is a “critical service, regulated and mandated.”
“Customer retention [in this business] is quite high because of its complex [nature], and it’s so critical for the customers,” he said. “They don’t typically switch providers very much at all, and we really value that type of stability to the business.”
4. Tenex Capital Management
Andover, a portfolio company of the New York City headquartered Tenex Capital Management, earlier this month made an investment in Minuteman Security & Life Safety, a Worcester, Massachusetts-based provider of commercial security, fire, and life-safety systems.
“The commercial security integration market has been a sector we’ve been pursuing for several years given the high-degree of value-add that integrators provide customers and suppliers alike and sound industry fundamentals we seek,” said Tenex managing director Perrin Monroe at the time.
5. Building Industry Partners
Endeavor Fire Protection, which is backed by Building Industry Partners, in August acquired High Sierra Fire Protection, a Carson City, Nevada-headquartered company that provides and repairs fire suppression systems.
Building Industry Partners is based in Boston.
6. Berkshire Partners
The investment will enable Thompson Safety to expand into new markets, accelerate organic growth plans, execute acquisitions, further enhance its technology and strengthen its central support infrastructure, according to the press statement at the time.
“Thompson Safety has shown impressive growth in its first five years through its outstanding customer service and unique service offering, while cultivating a strong culture along the way,” said Spencer Murray, principal at Berkshire Partners.