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US guarding company buy

Universal Protection Service, a division of Universal Services of America, has acquired Guardsmark. The companies report that together they have created the largest US-owned security company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Guardsmark has a UK arm, an ACS Pacesetters company based in Solihull. Overall the company has 125 offices serving more than 400 cities in the United States of America, Canada, Puerto Rico and the UK. Led by Ira A Lipman, founder, CEO and chairman, the company has grown organically without acquisition for 38 years.

Universal Protection Service is based in Santa Ana, California. It operates in 100-plus locations around the United States, including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. The combined company will employ about 60,000 security officers in the United States and Canada.

Steve Jones, CEO of Universal Services of America, said: “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 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 honoured 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 said: “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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