Company buys minority stake in Canadian installation firm

Saturday, June 1, 2002

EDMONTON, Alberta-A subsidiary of a Canadian provider of financial services to the alarm industry in April purchased a portion of Voxcom Inc.'s shares, making it a small majority owner in the company.

An offer by Securex Ltd., formerly known as Strategic Data, to buy 20 percent, or one million of Voxcom's common shares was accepted by the company's board of directors. The total price for the shares was about $800,000 or 80 cents per share, according to Securex.

Voxcom president Brad Sparrow said he had little comment on the transaction, but said the share purchase gave Securex a two-percent ownership in the company and that the sale would have little to no effect on company operations.

At press time, the two companies were negotiating an agreement that could likely result in Voxcom monitoring Securex's 20,000 owned accounts, Sparrow said.

Securex officials did not return calls for comment, but said in published reports that the offer was specifically made for 20 percent of the company's common stock. Any figure over that would constitute a take-over bid for the company, which was not Securex's intent, according to a financial advisor for the company.

Prior to Securex's investment, Voxcom signed a recapitalization agreement with a U.S.-based private equity firm and Canadian merchant bank for a total of $35.9 million. The investment from equity firm Catterton Partners, of $25.3 million in preferred shares and a $10.6 million investment from Clairvest will allow Voxcom to pay down debt and grow organically and through acquisition, Sparrow said.

The Clairvest investment is in the form of a $2 million investment and the conversion of $8.6 million in existing debt obligations to preferred shares of the company. Clairvest is a significant shareholder in Voxcom, company officials said.

Both Clairvest and Catterton will appoint two members to Voxcom's board of directors. That transaction was expected to close May 30.