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GE Security in Canada becomes Chubb Edwards

Customers of GE Security in Canada will now know the company as Chubb Edwards and the vice-president in charge says there is little overlap between the two companies, signalling that there may not be any reduction in product lines or workforce.


May 18, 2010
By Jennifer Brown

Last November United Technologies Corp. (UTC) announced it had reached an agreement to purchase the GE Security business from GE for US$1.82 billion. UTC Fire & Security is a business unit of United Technologies Corp., which provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries worldwide.

GE Security supplied security and life safety technologies through a broad product portfolio for commercial and residential applications that include fire detection and life safety systems, intrusion alarms, and video surveillance and access control systems.

Headquartered in Bradenton, Fla., the GE Security business had eight manufacturing facilities and approximately 4,700 employees in 26 countries.

At the ISC West show in Las Vegas, Mark Berry, former Americas president of GE Security, announced the company would now be known as Chubb Edwards in Canada.

By adding fire safety, sound and communication technology to the Chubb lineup, the combined companies will provide customers from both companies with a better experience overall, according to vice-president and general manager of Chubb Edwards, Todd Myers, based in Mississauga, Ont.

“We’re finding that more and more our customers are looking for a single solution for life safety, and we have that now across Canada,” he says.

“The two businesses are complementary and offer a single source for all life safety and security requirements,” says Myers.

Myers will lead the new combined organization in Canada with the support of Cristian Guay, formerly general manager of GE Security in Canada, who will lead the services role.

Myers said Chubb Edwards would continue to service GE Security products, noting the acquisition fits well with UTC’s strategy to build on what it currently has.

“GE Security has many terrific brands that our customers value from the residential consumer to the most demanding financial institution. At Chubb Edwards we expect to expand our use of the GE Security product,” says Myers.

When it was first announced that GE Security was up for sale, industry observers highlighted the Edwards line of fire products as being the “jewel in the crown” of the entire company.

Myers said it was decided early on in the acquisition that the Edwards name should be part of the newly merged organization.

Edwards, formerly part of GE Security, has been around since 1872 and operated in Canada for over 80 years.

“As we visited the GE Security branches the customers we met with there didn’t even refer to the company as GE Security; they referred to it as Edwards, so it was a telling sign when the customers were still referring to them as Edwards,” says Myers.

“We’re bringing these two organizations together, providing customers fire systems, intrusion detection, access control, mass notification and ULC monitoring and more.”

When asked if there would be any elimination of product lines between the two companies, Myers says, “The combined businesses create a truly complementary portfolio so this is more additive than overlapping.”
Myers says the two companies would remain as currently staffed. The combined company employees about 1,300 people.

“As a matter of policy we don’t comment on these types of issues,” says Myers. “This all happened March 1 and we still have our businesses to run and our customers to think about.