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Pierre Bourgmayer, pictured, Managing Director of the security manufacturer ISEO, has given an exclusive interview to the French security newspaper En Toute Securite, with details of the group’s strategy and ambitions for LOCKEN, the access control software and services company, with which it entered a strategic collaboration in May 2017.
Why have you chosen to enter a joint venture with LOCKEN?
Historically, ISEO was a manufacturer of mechanical safety products, which in 2009 decided to diversify into electronic solutions and associated software. Its target customer was primarily residential, small shops and businesses. LOCKEN, however, has always been focused on much larger sites and organisations with multiple buildings and often in remote locations. ISEO was interested in developing its business within this sector and working together with LOCKEN to create innovative products for a variety of markets.
It was therefore an interesting opportunity to combine the products and services of both companies, to develop a stronger and more attractive proposition to our customers. It is really a strategic acquisition for us: we can now offer a ready-to-use solution, combining ISEO’s cylinder with LOCKEN’s access control. With this combined approach we have already won major contracts, notably with Scottish Power, London Crossrail, Enedis, the major French electricity supplier, Renvico, a specialist in wind turbine developments, and a number of local government buildings in Saint-Avertin.
What are your plans, now that you are in partnership with LOCKEN?
We see increased potential for entering new geographic markets, either by establishing a subsidiary of LOCKEN in countries that we do not currently trade in, or by expanding our products and services in areas that we are already active. For example, in Britain, where ISEO does not have a subsidiary, our introduction will be through LOCKEN, which already operates in this country. Likewise from the presence we already have in Romania, we will extend the company to other Eastern European countries. A key prospective location is the Middle-East, where we plan to set up an ISEO office in Dubai, offering solutions for large organisations. We will also target South Africa, relaunching current products and services, as well as the Asian market.
You have acquired 60 per cent of the capital of LOCKEN. Would you like to take total control?
The founders of LOCKEN run the business with great autonomy, because they have the know-how and motivation. If they wanted to disengage, we would increase our capital, but this is not something that we are projecting.
You have already acquired several other organisations, including French manufacturers of padlocks, Cavers in 2001 and Levasseur, a manufacturer of door closers in 2008. What is your overall strategy?
It’s not a question of buying a market share or embarking on a systemic race for growth. Moreover, we have not made a new acquisition since that of LOCKEN. We are looking for targets in the mechanical and electronic security industry, which complement our existing portfolio or to locate ourselves in geographical areas where we are not already present.
I notice that the French market is already well-developed, and I think this high level of activity will remain in the future, as it continues to achieve a significant turnover – 143m euros in 2017 – this division of the business is therefore already self-sufficient.
Last July, DormaKaba sold its 40pc interest in ISEO. Were you happy with this transaction?
Dorma took this stake in 2012 to expand its product range, but its merger with Kaba four years later has resulted in the new group becoming our competitor in some niche markets. The 40pc of DormaKaba was bought by the Italmobilliare group of industrial investors, which gives us all our autonomy. ISEO is a company created by the Facchinetti family in 1969, of which the third generation is now part of the operations, but not the first level of management of the company, and our departure from DormaKaba reaffirms our independence.
Article published in the French newspaper “En Toute Sécurité”, November 15, 2018. Reproduction with the kind permission of the editor; www.security-info.com.