YARMOUTH, Maine—Private equity has a foothold in security, owning companies like Vivint, Protection 1 and CSG Security, but how does the industry really feel about private equity? Security Systems News’ latest poll showed that half of respondents have worked with private equity and most would consider selling their business to a PE group.

“Private equity in the security industry can accelerate growth. Most of us are limited to growth through cash flow excess which is slow and often ineffective,” said Joe Rosenthal, president and CEO of Georam Security.

Thirty-one percent said that private equity interest in the security space is beneficial, bringing money and attention. A majority—57 percent—of respondents said that private equity groups are different, but some bring good business expertise into the industry. “Private equity brings smart money and smart people into our industry,” said one reader.

Nathan Leaphart, CFO for private-equity owned Electric Guard Dog, said being owned by private equity is a “benefit to management as it forces management to continue to innovate and seek ways to benefit shareholders.” The PE owners “are also able to provide resources from a financial and operational expertise perspective that might not be available to a private company otherwise,” he said.

Tom Gambon, CFO at Isonas, described the place of private equity in the industry this way: “Private equity firms provide much needed growth capital to many companies. Yes, they want to turn a profit on their investment, but they are essential part of small business growth.”

Nick McAmis, president and CEO and Sentry Security Solutions, said, “Private equity gives a small company the opportunity to grow, staff, and market at a faster pace allowing them… Read Full Article

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