Securitas aims to double electronic security business in five years
By Neil Sutton
UPDATED Dec. 11
Securitas is targeting ambitious growth for its electronic security business, with a plan to double its size over the next five years.
The company presented the plan at an investor day event held last week at its Stockholm headquarters.
Magnus Ahlqvist, CEO of Securitas, said that the company is in the middle of an organizational transformation, particularly in North America, to position itself for future growth. Ahlqvist stressed that this transformation will not see Securitas waiver from its core guarding business, but augment it with a solutions focus that includes integration services, alarm monitoring and a data-driven business that will provide clients more intelligence. The company also aims to take greater advantage of the data it generates internally to realize greater operational efficiencies.
“This is a good industry to be in,” said Ahlqvist. “There is growth in the security services industry, but there is also good innovation opportunity. The innovation opportunity is enabled through advancements in technology on one side, and then also we see significant opportunity in terms of leveraging the data and the information that we are generating thanks to our [market] presence.”
Securitas made a significant acquisition in 2016 when it acquired the electronic security assets of Diebold for US$350M. The company then acquired integrator Kratos Public Safety and Security two years later. Ahlqvist said that its systems business, now known as Securitas Electronic Security (SES), has helped the company achieve growth, offsetting the downward pressure the industry has experienced on guarding margins.
Tony Byerly, president of SES, came to Securitas as part of the Diebold acquisition. He explained during his investor day presentation that electronic security is a “specialized business… it’s got its own metrics, it’s got its own KPIs, it’s got its own drivers.” Its reach also transcends vertical markets, he said. “There’s not one business I can think of that isn’t a prospect for an electronic security solution.”
Increasingly clients are looking for a “one-stop shop” approach to security buying, he said, giving the company an opportunity to present a range of services including guards; design, installation and ongoing support of security systems; and hosted solutions like alarm monitoring and security operations centres (SOC). “It deepens our client engagement,” he said. In North America, Securitas operates 30 offices and four alarm monitoring centres.
The major goal set by Securitas is to grow its global electronic security business from BSEK20 (Swedish Kronas in billions) in 2018 to BSEK40 by 2023.
Ahlqvist said the Securitas can grow that business over the next five years through a combination of scaling existing solutions, organic growth and targeted investments through acquisition. “This is an ambition, but it is something we are convinced that we are able to make happen with the team… and with capabilities that we now have as a company,” he said.
Less than a week after the investor day event, Securitas announced the acquisition of Australian electronic security company Fredon Security for approximately $29M.