UTC Sells Commercial Fire, Security Installation Business

By Jason Knott, April 13, 2012

UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), has closed on the sale of its fire and security branch operations in the U.S. to Comvest Investment Partners, a private equity fund of the Comvest Group.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, according to a press release.

The UTC Climate, Controls & Security division includes brands such as Carrier, Interlogix, Lenel, Edwards and others. It is a provider of integrated building solutions, including heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, building controls and automation and fire and security systems. The commercial installation business that was sold to Comvest, with approximately $250 million in sales, 1,350 employees and 40 locations, was formed as a result of a roll-up of Red Hawk and a dozen other small U.S.-based businesses over the last several years.

Like many other companies before it in the security business, including Sensormatic and Tyco/ADT, UTC likely faced some backlash from commercial integrators less willing to purchase its security and fire products because the company also competed with them at the installation level.

“UTC Climate, Controls & Security is strategically reviewing its fire and security portfolio to focus on businesses with industry leadership, large scale and higher returns,” says Geraud Darnis, president & CEO, UTC Climate, Controls & Security. “With this transaction, the U.S. fire and security branch network will be able to strengthen its operations and enhance its growth profile by taking advantage of Comvest’s deep experience in the industry.”

Under Comvest, the new business will be called Red Hawk Fire & Security with Mike Snyder, former president of ADT, as CEO and Dean Seavers, former president of GE Security and SimplexGrinnell, as president.

In a 2011 prison interview with CE Pro, former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski mentioned one of his plans, had he been found not guilty, was to get back into the security business with Snyder. Comvest has investments with $1.3 billion in more than 100 companies.

The original story can be read here: http://www.cepro.com/article/utc_sells_commercial_fire_security_installation_business/.

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