Q&A with Adesta President Bob Sommerfeld

Systems integration firm’s president discusses the impact G4S purchase will have on the company


Following last week’s news that security integration firm Adesta had been purchased by UK-based G4S Security, a worldwide provider of physical security and integration services, SIW had a chance to catch up Adesta President Bob Sommerfeld for his take on what type of impact the deal will have on the companies operations.

Adesta, which has been in business for more than 20 years, provides full service systems integration for electronic and physical security. The company currently has about 400 employees with 12 offices setup across the U.S.

One of the reasons G4S targeted Adesta was for its presence in several key markets, which includes ports, critical infrastructure and chemical/petrochemical facilities. According to Sommerfeld, the company has worked on technology integration projects for the Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Houston, and Port of Baltimore. Adesta is currently working on projects with Bay Area Rapid Transit in northern California, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

SIW: Where does Adesta fit in with G4S Security?

Sommerfeld: The Adesta acquisition is an important move for both G4S and Adesta. It will allow G4S to provide the most advanced security solutions combining G4S manpower and technology to U.S. seaports and chemical/petrochemical site security and other critical infrastructure. Adesta has over 20 years of experience in the deployment of integrated security systems in the United States and beyond. Adesta has a significant footprint in the maritime and chemical security markets within the United States. The reputation of Adesta will help G4S increase their presence and reputation with a solid U.S. company.

SIW: What will the acquisition mean for both companies going forward?

Sommerfeld: Adesta’s solid, large – scale integration experience and reputation will help complete G4S’s vision as a single solution provider. The G4S capabilities and advanced technologies will offer customers revolutionary services and options they have not been had prior to the acquisition. One example of this is the Touchcom OneFacility software (acquired by G4S in 2008). Adesta also is looking forward to continuing to grow their impressive broadband business and looks forward to expanding this market as well.

SIW: Are there any overlaps in the services your company and G4S provide?

Sommerfeld: There isn’t much overlap in North America. Together Adesta and G4S will mesh the best of our services into the finest possible products and solutions available. We are a part of the G4S strategy to add technology solutions to their manpower solutions. Other than Touchcom, they really don’t have that kind of presence in the United States today. They have a huge presence from the Wackenhut side of the business, but not so much on the technology side. Adesta and Touchcom have some similarities in terms of technology, but we’re focused on a different type of customer. We have entirely different vertical markets.

SIW: How will Adesta strengthen G4S’ integration business and U.S. market penetration?

Sommerfeld: Adesta has a strong reputation in the United States with over 20 years of proven experience as a systems integrator. This will help G4s to increase their presence in the United States with an integrator who has a secure presence and status.

SIW: What does the sale of the company mean for Adesta employees and management?

Sommerfeld: Adesta anticipates significant employee growth opportunities and new job creation. The Adesta leadership and management team will remain the same. I think (the acquisition) will be an opportunity to accelerate expansion, both with different types of customers and additional (geographic regions). In addition to employment growth, it will probably present some promotional opportunities as well.