ADT Acquires Advanced Cabling Systems

by Sarah Campbell-Miller  on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 11:10 am   3 min read

David Roberts, left, senior vice president of Advanced Cabling Systems, and company president Michael Kennedy. (Karen E. Segrave)

Publicly traded ADT Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida, announced Thursday its acquisition of Advanced Cabling Systems of North Little Rock. ADT says it will combine Advanced with another of its announced acquisitions, Red Hawk Fire & Security, also headquartered in Boca Raton.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal closed on Jan. 2.

Advanced, which employs about 180 people, specializes in the installation and servicing of integrated systems, including structured cabling, fire alarm systems, audio/video, CCTV, access control, intrusion detection, intercom/paging systems, nurse call and infant protection systems.

The company celebrated its 20th year in business in 2017 and has offices in six locations: North Little Rock, Fort Smith, Lowell, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Ozark, Missouri.

Bob East, who was the majority owner before the sale, told Arkansas Business that Advanced was set to be acquired by Red Hawk and, while negotiations were underway with Red Hawk, ADT bought Red Hawk for $317.5 million.

East also said he bought controlling interest in the company in 1999, when it had three employees and only did structured cabling for computers. His goal for Advanced was for it to become a "one-stop shop" for related technologies. Then, after 9/11, the security industry "exploded," so the company turned to providing technologies related to that industry, he said.

East added that "We've probably had people calling us once a month to buy our company for the past three or four years, and we've talked to a lot of people."

He also said, "I'm a big believer in planning and so, I thought it was best for our employees and our company if I divested and got a big company like ADT [to buy us] ... I'm 72 and in great health, but the best time to plan for those types of things is when things are going great.

"They just bring all kinds of resources. I mean, we never had any issues with money. We didn't need money. I just looked at this as the time is right when things are good. I didn't want something to happen to me or something to happen to somebody there that would cause our business to falter."

East added that, for now, ADT is keeping Advanced as an autonomous company by not changing its name or how it is operated. 

Senior leadership at Advanced, with the exception of East, and those at the local levels will remain as the integration of the companies moves forward.

Advanced President Michael Kennedy said in a news release, “At Advanced, our focus on technology and customer service is why we know that aligning with the most recognizable brands in the fire and security industry will allow us to better serve existing and new commercial customers." He was unavailable for comment on Thursday morning.

“The addition of Advanced is part of our focus on commercial growth and underscores both ADT’s and Red Hawk’s focus on leveraging technology to deliver superior customer service and support to commercial and enterprise-level organizations, particularly those with multiple U.S. locations,” ADT Commercial Executive Vice President Dan Bresingham said in the release.

Advanced offers many of the same product lines as Red Hawk, including Gamewell FCI, Honeywell, Lenel, Software House, AMAG, Bosch, AXIS and GENETEC. 

Michael McWilliams, senior vice president of Red Hawk and ADT Commercial, added, “The move is positive proof that aligning with ADT elevates Red Hawk’s ability to showcase its products and services to a wider range of clients while increasing our overall geographic footprint and dedicated technician workforce to be the premier single point of contact for all our customers’ fire, life safety and security needs.” 

There are no plans to reduce Advanced's staff at this time, as the acquisition is aimed at building the ADT Commercial footprint in an underserved geographic region of the country.

Also, Advanced Cabling Systems was named a Best Place to Work in 2018.



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