Allied Universal CEO projects Canadian growth through acquisition

Neil Sutton
July 23, 2018
Written by
Steve Jones, CEO of Allied Universal, says the acquisition of U.S. Security Associates (USSA) will help the company expand its presence in Canada, as well as other international markets.

Allied Universal announced in July that it had reached an agreement to acquire USSA from Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. The transaction also includes Andrews International, an international subsidiary of USSA which operates offices in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. Allied Universal currently has Canadian locations in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto and Waterloo, Ont.

USSA, based in Roswell, Ga., has revenues over US$1.5 billion and employs more than 50,000 people. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 subject to regulatory approval. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We had been interested in the asset for many, many years,” said Jones in an interview with Canadian Security. “We felt that strategically it was a very good fit, both with the U.S. footprint and it also helped increase our presence in Canada.”

Jones said the acquisition will give Allied Universal the critical mass to substantially grow its revenues in Canada. He estimates those to be approximately $100 million today (including those brought in by USSA), but the opportunity could be much larger.

“We continue to grow [in Canada] organically but we also want to continue to grow through acquisitions,” explained Jones. “We feel like it’s a market that, in and of itself, could be a $500M to a $1B market for Allied Universal. It’s a tremendous opportunity for growth for us.”

In addition to its geographic reach, Jones said that USSA is strong in vertical market penetration including the financial services sector and the industrial distribution market. The company also operates a substantial consulting and investigation division as well as StaffPro, an event staffing business.

Other assets of interest that are owned by USSA include the P3 Technology Platform, a workflow and risk management tool that USSA says can enhance on-site guard services. Allied Universal utilizes its own similar tool called CyCop, which is currently in use by approximately half of the company’s clients, according to Jones. He added that Allied Universal will look at combining the two technologies “and use the best functions of both.”

On a broader strategic level, “our big push is the blending of technology and manpower. We think that’s the future of security,” said Jones.

“Helping companies manage risks… that’s where we’re going and long-term, that’s where we think the industry will be. It will be an industry that is using technology and manpower. It’s all about being able to provide information to your customers… and how to better manage risk and threats against the enterprise,” he added.

Allied Universal also launched a Global Security Operations Center as a Service (GSOCaaS) offering last September during the ASIS International conference, held in Dallas, Tex.

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