Canadian Security Magazine

GardaWorld buys TSM’s guarding business

Neil Sutton   


GardaWorld announced that it has bought the guarding operations of Toronto-based Total Security Management Services (TSM), which employs 1,200 people across Canada. Financial terms of the deal, which closed Nov. 12, were not disclosed.

As a result of the acquisition, Montreal-based Garda has purchased the majority of TSM’s operations, including its brand name and five Canadian offices: Toronto, Ottawa, Guelph, Ont., Calgary and Montreal. TSM’s U.S. locations, in Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee, are not part of the deal — assets not purchased by Garda will be rebranded under a new company name.

GardaWorld has accelerated the pace of its acquisitions since going private last year. Notably this year, Garda purchased Intercon Security from Tyco Integrated Security and announced in August that an agreement has been reached to buy G4S Cash Solutions. That deal is expected to close pending Competition Bureau approval.

“We are accelerating the pace of this consolidation as we move on,” says GardaWorld COO Marc-André Aubé in an interview with Canadian Security magazine.

The focus of the company’s acquisitions has been the Ontario market, according to Aubé, in order to significantly bolster operations in the province.


“In Ontario, we were not exactly where we wanted to be. We wanted to bridge that gap,” he says. “When we have a cash logistics operation side-by-side with a guarding operation, it helps to attract talent, it helps to increase the service level that we provide.”

All told, Garda now employs more than 9,000 people in Ontario, most of them frontline staff.

TSM president Craig Campbell is not moving over to Garda, and will stay on with the portion of TSM not owned by Garda to manage its U.S. operations. “[Campbell] will remain a close partner . . . he felt the [TSM] team was going to be in good hands,” says Aubé.

TSM’s COO Neil Weaver has agreed to join Garda and will help manage the transition effort, including the integration of TSM’s best practices into Garda’s.

TSM’s offices in Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa, are expected to merge with Garda’s existing operations. The Guelph office will likely remain intact, since Garda does not have a presence there. A decision has yet to be made about the status of TSM’s Toronto headquarters but “for now, there’s no change,” says Aubé.

Aubé anticipates “marginal downsizing” as a result of the TSM agreement affecting one to two per cent of staff. The TSM name is also likely to be phased out over time in favour of the GardaWorld brand, but it will be up to customers to determine the pace of that change, he says.

Garda is actively looking to take advantage of the best elements of the companies it acquires, Aubé says, but integration efforts won’t happen overnight. “It takes a year to [experience] the improvement,” he says.

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