Securitas and Belgacom to combine small alarms operations in the Benelux and France
Securitas' division Direct Europe has signed an agreement with Belgacom S.A. to combine their respective small alarms operations in the Benelux and France.
Belgacom Alert Services Holding (BASH) is mainly active in small alarm systems for homes and small businesses with approximately 62,000 alarm connections in Belgium and the Netherlands and total sales of approximately MSEK 220. This also includes operations in larger alarm systems in Belgium for which annual sales total approximately MSEK 50 and in security services in the Netherlands for which annual sales total approximately MSEK 40.
The transaction will be completed in three steps. As a first and immediate step, Securitas will contribute its Belgian alarm operations and will thereby receive a 5 percent minority interest in BASH. As a second step in January 2002, Securitas will transfer its French small alarms operations to BASH and will receive in return a 72 percent majority shareholding in the company. These two steps do not include any exchange of cash. In a third step, Belgacom will have an option from 2003 to sell its minority interest to Securitas, which in turn will have an option from 2006 to buy Belgacom's minority share.
In connection with the second step of the transaction, 63,000 Securitas small alarm connections will be transferred to Direct Europe. Of these, 55,000 will come from the French security services operation and will be included in Direct through BASH. Through the transaction, Direct Europe will thereby have operations in ten European countries with approximately 309,000 alarm connections for the present and pro-forma annual sales for 2001 of approximately MSEK 1,500. In addition to Direct Europe's alarm connections, Securitas has approximately 151,000 alarm connections in its security services and large alarms operations.
Through the transaction and the cooperation with Belgacom, Securitas will achieve a strong platform in the Belgian and Dutch markets, where Securitas has not previously been active in small alarms. Synergies between Belgacom's distribution channels and Securitas' capability to offer guard services in the form of call-out will be developed into entire alarm to response concepts. The transfer of the small alarm systems to Direct Europe will give sharper focus and create conditions for faster refinement and growth. The transaction will also enable Securitas to offer combined solutions with alarms and security services in its existing operations in the Benelux.
BASH will be consolidated in the Securitas Group during 2002 and is expected to increase sales by approximately MSEK 220 on a full-year basis. The security services operations will be integrated in the rest of the Securitas Group. The transaction is expected to have a positive effect on the Group's income and cash flow from 2003.
The transaction is subject to approval from the competition authorities.
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