AlarmForce aquisition boosts BCE's 'connected-home' strategy
BCE (BCE.TO) is acquiring AlarmForce Industries (AF.TO) in a deal valued at $166 million.
George Cope, president and CEO of BCE, said the deal will allow his company to expand its presence in the connected home space.
“Bell is excited to welcome the AlarmForce team as we pursue the significant growth and innovation opportunities represented by the connected home,” said Cope in a statement released by the company. “It's a natural next step for Bell,” he said.
The connected home involves smart devices that provide monitoring, security and automation of many household items, such as lighting, heating and alarm systems.
AlarmForce is one of the largest home and business security companies in Canada, with more than 100,000 subscribers.
Under the terms of the deal, Bell will acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of AlarmForce for $16.00 per share in an all-cash offer. AlarmForce shareholders can choose to receive BCE common shares instead of cash, subject to proration, and capped at 49.5 per cent of the total equity value.
Approval is still required by AlarmForce shareholders, as well as the TSX and NYSE. If approved, it is expected to be completed by January 2018.
John Zechner, Chairman and Founder of J. Zechner Associates, says the deal makes perfect sense for BCE.
“It allows [Bell] to round out their product offering, which is exactly what they want to do,” he said in an interview on BNN.
“Now you can throw in home security on top of phone, internet, satellite or television and everything else on top of that,” said Zechner.
“It’ll be a drop in the bucket in terms of how much money they’re spending on it…even if [the deal] is a bad one, it’s not going to hurt them."
BNN is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE.