Blackstone sells off AlliedBarton to Wendel

June 30, 2015
French investors prepare to diversify security portfolio in North America

Blackstone announced today that private equity funds it manages have agreed to sell AlliedBarton to Wendel for approximately $1.67 billion.  As part of the proposed acquisition, Wendel will make an equity investment of approximately $670 million, for a 96 percent ownership in the company, alongside AlliedBarton’s management team. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals

Blackstone acquired AlliedBarton in 2008 from MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, a firm controlled by the financier Ronald O. Perelman, for an undisclosed amount.

AlliedBarton is a leader in the U.S. security services market providing physical guarding and related services to a diversified group of more than 3,300 customers in a number of markets. These markets include, commercial real estate, higher education, healthcare, financial services, government services, aerospace and defense, petrochemicals and retail. Some of these clients are very large enterprises – including approximately 200 of the Fortune 500 companies – and others are smaller organizations. Founded in 1957 and based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, AlliedBarton has more than 60,000 employees and 120 regional and district offices located throughout the United States. For the twelve months ended March 31, 2015, AlliedBarton generated revenues of approximately $2.18 billion and an adjusted EBITDA of $148 million with a free cash flow conversion rate of greater than 95 percent.

The market for outsourced security officer services in the U.S. is estimated to be greater than $20 billion. The industry, and in particular, AlliedBarton, has demonstrated strong growth over a long period of time and proven quite resilient during economic downturns. Over the years, AlliedBarton transformed from a regional participant to an industry leader with a national presence. The company integrated 12 acquisitions since 1998 and developed a unique go-to-market approach driven by customized, vertical segment expertise.

Bill Whitmore, president and CEO of AlliedBarton noted: “We thank Blackstone for being a tremendous partner over the last seven years and I appreciate the contributions made by Peter Wallace and the entire Blackstone team. Blackstone’s counsel and invaluable support have been instrumental to the development and growth of our business, which has resulted in a successful investment outcome for all equity holders. We also look forward to working with Wendel to continue AlliedBarton’s extraordinary growth and achieve the next level of success.”

Whitmore added: “We are very excited to join Wendel. Their long term investment philosophy and successful track record of building world-class companies will help AlliedBarton continue its extraordinary growth and achieve the next level of success. The senior leadership team and I look forward to working with Wendel and building a strong relationship based on our shared values and strategic vision. AlliedBarton will continue to deliver high quality security services tailored to the individual needs of our clients.”

“It has been a privilege partnering with Bill Whitmore and the exceptional management team at AlliedBarton in supporting their efforts to build the preeminent security services firm in the U.S. We are very proud of the accomplishments and significant value that has been created under our ownership, during which the Company substantially grew revenues, profitability and employment,” said Peter Wallace, senior managing director at Blackstone.

Taking this investment into account, Wendel has fully achieved all of its 2013-17 strategic objectives and will have invested €2.1bn (more than $3.3 billion)  in equity since 2013.

“AlliedBarton is a world-class franchise with a tremendous reputation for integrity and reliability and a very impressive management team, led by Bill Whitmore.”, said Frédéric Lemoine, chairman of Wendel’s executive board. “The company has an outstanding track record of profitable growth and cash generation. It is well positioned to continue to grow both organically and through acquisitions. This is Wendel’s second investment in North America in less than seven months and represents a significant step in our efforts to diversify geographically, particularly when considering that AlliedBarton’s business is predominantly in the U.S.”

About AlliedBarton Security Services

For more than 50 years, AlliedBarton Security Services has provided superior security officer services to protect people, homes and businesses. AlliedBarton tailors security programs to meet clients’ needs with committed professionals who enhance clients’ brands. The most honored security services provider, AlliedBarton consistently delivers exceptional service which creates a differentiated experience for clients and the people they serve. More than 60,000 employees and 120 offices serve thousands of clients with levels of protection that anticipate needs and build enduring relationships.

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About Wendel

Wendel is one of Europe's leading listed investment firms. The Group invests internationally, in companies that are leaders in their field, such as Bureau Veritas, Saint-Gobain, Materis Paints, Stahl, IHS and Constantia Flexibles. Wendel plays an active role as industry shareholder in these companies. It implements long-term development strategies, which involve boosting growth and margins of companies so as to enhance their leading market positions. Through Oranje-Nassau Développement, which brings together opportunities for investment in growth, diversification and innovation, Wendel is also a shareholder of exceet in Germany, Mecatherm and Parcours in France, Nippon Oil Pump in Japan, Saham Group in Africa and CSP Technologies in the United States.

About Blackstone

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. Our asset management businesses, with over $300 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone. 

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Editorial and news reports authored by the media team from Cygnus Security Media, including, Security Technology Executive magazine and Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I) magazine.