Universal Protection Service purchases ProGuard

Security guard services provider Universal Protection Service has purchased competing security services provider ProGuard Security Services. The acquisition merges ProGuard, which has operated since 1990 in Arizona and Texas, with Universal Protection, which is based in Santa Ana, Calif. The acquisition brings aboard approximately 500 security officers from ProGuard's ranks, and expands Universal's presence in Arizona while introducing the firm to Texas.

Steve Jones, the Co-CEO and chief operating officer of Universal Services of America, said that while ProGuard had been a director competitor, it was a company that he "held in the highest regard," noting that the owner Ryan Oberholtzer and the ProGuard management team had "built an outstanding organization." Oberholtzer said he had similar respect for Universal's operations.

Besides its Universal Protection Service division focused on guarding, Universal Services of America also operations divisions involved in building maintenance/janitorial (Universal Building Maintenance), security systems installation (Universal Security Systems), and fire/emergency preparation (Universal Fire/Life Safety Services).

According to public information, Universal Protection Service indicates that it is "the seventh largest security company in the U.S. and currently employs over 9,000 security professionals."