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Universal Protection Service acquires Guardsmark

Universal Protection Service, a division of Universal Services of America and a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus and Partners Group, announced this week that it has acquired Guardsmark.


Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. According to the company, the acquisition has created what is now the largest U.S.-owned security company.

Based in Memphis, Tenn., Guardsmark has more than 125 offices serving more than 400 cities in the United States of America, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The combined company will employ approximately 60,000 security professionals across the United States and Canada.

Steve Jones, CEO of Universal Services of America, said in a statement, “The culture of both companies revolves around professionalism and customer service. We believe that this will bring great opportunities to our customers and our employees. Ira (Ira A. Lipman, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Guardsmark) is a legend in the private security industry and I am honoured to have worked with him to put our two great companies together. I am also honored to have him join our company as Vice Chairman of the board. Together we will create the industry leader in the private security arena.”

Lipman stated: “The combination of Guardsmark and Universal will establish the largest American owned security services company. Steve Jones is a remarkable leader and clients and employees will benefit from the merger. Never in history has there been a greater need for serious security and our partnership delivers this for our customers.”

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to Guardsmark. Credit Suisse acted as financial advisor to Universal Protection Service. Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as legal counsel Universal Protection Service. Fried Frank LLP acted as legal counsel to Guardsmark.