Mission expansion; Ranger, Hawkeye to go public?

Friday, September 27, 2013

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The operator of security firms, Ranger and Hawkeye, is looking at going public as an option to raise expansion cash.

DLM Group, under which the two firms were brought together late last year, plans to use the sought-after financing to recaptialise the business and invest in its systems, but the group will be more focused on acquisitions, both locally and abroad.

Sean Clacken reckons that the anticipated shrinkage in the number of firms offering guard services -- as has been the case with companies that provide electronic security systems -- will present opportunities for expansion in Jamaica for DLM.

And while the CEO of the DLM Group recently turned down an opportunity to buy a small security firm in the US, he sees the North American market as a real possibility.

"The margins in the US are a lot higher than in Jamaica," he told Caribbean Business Report. "There are opportunities there, and the way how the market operates it allows for a small operator to work there."

But as cost gets higher in Jamaica, Clacken figures that to survive, you have to be very small or very large to survive.

In a market that has over 16,400 registered security guards, Ranger Protection and Security is already the third largest operator with over 1,600 security officers after Guardsman with 3,000 and Marksman with over 2,600, according to the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA).

On the other hand, over 70 per cent of the 224 registered security companies had fewer than 20 security guards, while up to 60 of the firms' licences had expired as at September 20, when the PSRA last updated its list.

Hawkeye Electronic Security on its own looks like a small player with just 80 registered guards, but its core business is security systems, armoured courier and vehicle tracking services, for which the PSRA doesn't have data to compare its size with other registered firms.

In any case, bringing together Hawkeye and Ranger under one roof and a single management team aims to leverage both companies in the changing landscape.

And now, DLM has hired Mayberry Investments to act as its lead financial advisor "to prepare for its further growth and expansion in the industry".

"We are yet to determine the best way forward whether it be debt-based or equity-based," said Clacken, who believes DLM can become a "dominant security service provider in Jamaica and the region."

"This will give us the opportunity to have our staff, customers and wider public participate in the growth of our business," he said.

Both Hawkeye and Ranger provide islandwide security solutions and services, and operate from offices in Kingston, Mandeville, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.




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