Interface Security Systems Buys Majority Ownership in Greater Alarm Company

Nov. 30, 2004
Merger of two top-25 companies is 21st transaction in Interface's expansion and acquisition

Interface Security Systems Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Interface Security Systems LLC, a Midwest regional electronic security company based in St. Louis, Missouri, announced that it has completed a transaction in which it became the majority shareholder of The Greater Alarm Company, Inc., based in Irvine, California. Founded in 1981 by George De Marco, Greater Alarm is one of the largest independent security companies in California, ranked #23 in the most recent SDM Top 100 list. With offices in Irvine, San Diego, Corona, Sacramento and San Jose, Greater Alarm provides a full range of monitored electronic security services focusing primarily in the high end commercial and residential sectors.

Details of the transaction are being kept confidential by mutual consent of the parties. Interface investors, lead by Dallas based equity sponsor SunTx Capital Partners, provided equity financing for the transaction and LaSalle Bank NA arranged the senior credit facility.

Interface Security Systems, ranked #14 in the most recent SDM Top 100 list, provides installation, maintenance and monitoring services to both commercial and residential customers in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The company also provides fully integrated intrusion, fire, managed access control and interactive video surveillance systems to large commercial customers.

The investment in Greater Alarm represents the 21st transaction that Interface has completed since beginning an aggressive acquisition strategy in 2002. It also marks the company's first major move outside of the Mid-America States where the bulk of its growth has taken place. Michael Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Interface, expressed excitement about the recently completed transaction. "Greater Alarm is the premier provider of electronic security services in Northern and Southern California with expertise in providing fully integrated intrusion, fire, managed access and video solutions to thousands of high-end commercial and residential clients," affirms Shaw. "George and Jim De Marco have built an outstanding company over the years and we are pleased that they and the entire Greater Alarm team are now a part of the Interface family," said Shaw. Greater Alarm will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary of Interface with George De Marco serving in his current capacity of President and Chief Operating Officer.

George De Marco commented, "The recent trends in the security industry indicate that well-capitalized alarm companies and systems integrators have the opportunity for exponential growth. Greater Alarm is excited about positioning itself to take advantage of new financial and operating synergies, allowing us to build a larger footprint through a more aggressive strategic plan. In order to do so, we will require the technological, financial and human resources of a more substantial organization. Partnering with Interface is an important step forward for Greater Alarm, its employees and most importantly, our valued customers."

Craig Jennings is Vice President and Partner of SunTx Capital Management Corp., general partner to SunTx Capital Partners, LP whose private equity firm sponsors Interface Security Holdings. Mr. Jennings commented, "We have been working with Mike Shaw and his team for almost three years now and have seen Interface nearly double in size since making our initial investment in the company in 2001. The Interface management team has been highly selective with their acquisition program and Greater Alarm clearly represents an outstanding expansion platform for Interface investors. We look forward to working with George and his team to pursue an aggressive internal growth and acquisition strategy in California and contiguous Western States."