ACRE continues to expand with RS2 acquisition

April 18, 2019
CEO Grillo explains that the move strengthens the access control portfolio of the company
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In a scenario that is beginning to resemble Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day”, ACRE CEO Joseph Grillo announced another access control company acquisition today as the expanding technology holding company said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire RS2 Technologies in Munster, Indiana. Grillo admits this acquisition has been in the works for many months and with the RS2 addition, he says it brings economies of scale to the ACRE portfolio and helps balance out the geographical go-to-market strategy for the U.S. to almost a 50-50 revenue ratio with that of its European footprint following the Siemens acquisition in October of 2014.

“This acquisition provides us another strong brand and provides us a larger position as a partner with our good friends at Allegion and ASSA ABLOY and their subsidiaries. It also makes us a larger player in the Mercury ecosystem of open architecture access control systems that may very well be growing at a faster pace than some of the proprietary brands and it also gives a more local geographic diversity,” says Grillo. “Access control companies tend to be stronger in the region from whence they originated from with a concentrated base and a strength of channel. That is important for us as well.”

RS2, founded in 1998 has long prided itself on the use of an open architecture platform approach in order to provide a broad product offering working with a multitude of technology partners. RS2 has a strong industry reputation for stellar customer service and has stayed in tune with the demands of the industry, listening to VOC from both end users and installers. The RS2 platform was designed to easily integrate with other security system components.

“This is a great opportunity for RS2 to further expand our customer base and leverage the benefits of being a part of a broader ACRE portfolio,” said David W. Barnard, RS2’s Director of Dealer Development/Partner. “We are excited to be joining the ACRE family and this will help push RS2 to the next level, and more quickly achieve our 2025 growth goals.”

ACRE’s push for global expansion began with its move to create an international footprint, as well as strengthen its internal research and development capabilities with the Siemens’ Security Products business acquisition. Siemens brought a product line that consisted of access control, intrusion alarm, and video surveillance categories, which complements Vanderbilt Industries’ fully, integrated product offerings. The acquisition included such well-known and established brands as Bewator and Cotag in the access control segment and Alarmcom and Europlex in the intrusion alarm space.

In 2016, ACRE bought ComNet, a U.S.-based manufacturer of audio, video, data and Ethernet communication products to help widen its technology portfolio, but when it  made the move to acquire Texas-based Open Options in December of last year, it solidified the company’s strategic plans for strengthening its access control product offerings and extending its portfolio in that space.

For Grillo, the move follows the natural progression of security market consolidation and his vision of technology expansion. The acquisition of Open Options, and now RS2, increases ACRE’s profile in the access control tech sector providing it with a well-established open-architecture solution and a large national customer base.

 “We will allow RS2 to continue to do what it has been doing for the last several years, which is growing faster than the surrounding market and in a profitable fashion. With its R&D resources and sales channels, they are very strong in customer service and tech support among their resellers and we will let them continue to operate independently as we do very many other parts of our portfolio,” Grillo adds.

Hinting that they will continue to look at other technology alignments and see what works and what they can expand to strengthen all the ARCE-affiliated partners in the future, Grillo says companies must find what works for them in an industry that is in a constant state of change.

“It is still a very fragmented industry with a lot of players. So, we constantly look to become stronger by adding technology pieces that are complementary. If you look at the resellers of the different ARCE access control companies, there is very little overlap which means there is still plenty of room to maneuver since the reseller market is even more fragmented than the vendor side,” comments Grillo. “One publication I read last year said there were an estimated 10,000 integrators and installers in the U.S. market alone, so we certainly feel that more coverage is a good thing and that coverage comes with acquisition.”

Financial details of the transaction were not released. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April 2019.

About the Author:

Steve Lasky is the Editorial Director of Endeavor’s SecurityInfoWatch Security Media, which includes print publications Security Technology Executive, Security Business, Locksmith Ledger Int’l, and the world’s most trafficked security web portal He is a 30-year veteran of the security industry and a 27-year member of ASIS.

About the Author

Steve Lasky | Editorial Director, Editor-in-Chief/Security Technology Executive

Steve Lasky is a 34-year veteran of the security industry and an award-winning journalist. He is the editorial director of the Endeavor Business Media Security Group, which includes the magazine's Security Technology Executive, Security Business, and Locksmith Ledger International, and the top-rated website He is also the host of the SecurityDNA podcast series.Steve can be reached at [email protected]

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