AlarmForce CEO predicts growth under BCE
Graham Badun, AlarmForce Industries president and CEO, says the recently announced BCE acquisition portends growth and significant cross-selling opportunities for the Toronto-based alarm company.
By Neil Sutton
In early November, BCE announced its intent to acquire AlarmForce through a deal valued at approximately $166 million. BCE already has home security operations in Atlantic Canada through Bell Aliant NextGen Home Security, and in Manitoba under its AAA Security division.
AlarmForce currently has approximately 100,000 subscribers. Badun said about 50 per cent of its customers reside in Ontario and the rest are split between B.C., Alberta and Quebec with “smaller numbers in the middle Prairie provinces and Atlantic provinces,” said Badun.
AAA and Aliant are “good, complimentary businesses for AlarmForce. Certainly, those are two of our weaker geographies across the country.”
AlarmForce has undergone significant change since Badun took over as president of the company in 2015. Badun told SP&T News in 2016 that he was drawn to the company by the caché of its name and business potential. Since then, AlarmForce has transitioned to third-party products model and earlier this year shed its U.S. subscriber base, selling those accounts to Lancaster, Pa.-based Select Security for US$11.6 million.
The BCE acquisition is scheduled to close in January 2018. Until that time, few details will be divulged. Bell spokesperson Marc Choma said it will be “business as usual” until the acquisition closes.
Badun said AlarmForce will reach out directly to its subscribers at or near the close date to update them on changes. “But certainly we’re already getting inquiries from our own subscribers around opportunities to bundle services. They’re seeing the same benefit that we saw and that Bell saw in putting the two companies together.”
AlarmForce operates a small dealer program with approximately 10 dealers — they will also be contacted with more information, said Badun.
According to Victor Harding, principal of Harding Security Services, and a regular SP&T News columnist, the acquisition is “a great sign for the alarm industry. The fact that another telco is coming into the business — they obviously see some merit in doing so.”
BCE’s acquisition of AlarmForce is a “smart move. It gives them a platform to work with security that’s significant,” he added.
Badun said there will inevitably be some overlap between AlarmForce’s subscriber base and Bell’s, but “at the same time, there’s a ton of Bell customers that don’t have alarm services and therein lies the opportunity.”
Given a 20 per cent market penetration rate for home security across the industry, the growth potential is there, said Badun.
“There’s a terrific opportunity to cross-sell security and home automation and connected home type services,” he said. “For a company like ours to be able to access millions of households and cross-sell our services, this is a dream come true.”
This article originally appeared in SP&T News’ November/December 2017 issue.