Securitas buys guard companies in Mexico, Czech Republic

Securitas has purchased Grupo Guardias Blancas, a security company in Mexico, to expand its market. Grupo Guardias Blancas had positioned itself with work in both the tourism and maritime sectors of southeast Mexico. The purchase price for the security firm was worth approximately $2 million in U.S. dollars.

The purchased company had approximately 1,500 employees and was doing annual sales worth approximately $8.6 million. The company's primary area of expertise was in the tourism industry in Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Guerrero, but the firm also listed security projects in retail, maritime and general commercial market sectors.

According to a statement from Securitas, this acquisition gives them an even strong position in Mexico's fragmented security services market, where, according to Securitas, the market leader only has a 3 percent share of the country's total value of security services. Securitas had already been operating in Mexico and was considered to be the third largest provider in the country, and the acquisition of Grupo Guardias Blancas is expected to make Securitas the second largest in the country. Prior to the acquisition of Guardias Blancas, most of Securitas' client base was in the northern part of Mexico. The company will be integrated into Securitas by the beginning of 2009.

Just before the Mexico acquisition, Securitas also purchase Agency of Security Fenix (ASF), a security guard services firm operating in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The cost of this acquisition was approximately $8.7 million. ASF provided both mobile patrols and monitoring, and had close to 1,250 employees in the Czech Republic and an additional 200 in Slovakia.

According to a statement from Securitas, ASF had a "good customer portfolio" which include contracts in banking, office buildings and government security. The firm was estimated to be the third largest in the Czech Republic. The acquisition and integration of ASF into Securitas will make Securitas the largest provider of security services in the Czech Republic, and opens the Slovakian market to the firm as well.