Provo-based home security and automation company Vivint will be entering a deal with Blackstone Group LP, valuing the company at $2 billion. But what led the company to its success? The following is a timeline showing the company's milestones before the deal was announced on Tuesday. To read more about the deal with Blackstone, click here.
While in college, Todd Pedersen, chief executive of Vivint, along with APX co-founder Keith Nellesen, started a direct selling company for pest control called Creative Concepts.
Two years later, they were offered $1.2 million by The ServiceMaster Co., but Pedersen turned it down.
“I was sick to my stomach two days afterwards,” Pedersen said. “I don’t know how I turned it down, but I did. But back then I thought we could become a $10 million company. Honestly, the $2 billion number probably started hitting my head two years ago. Now, our sights are much higher than that.”
The company, then known as APX, was started in 1999. It began when Pedersen noticed an opportunity in the security solutions market.
"Between 1999 and 2005, the company experienced healthy growth, marketing third-party security products and services," the company said in a statement.
In July 2006, the company signed a $75 million agreement with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The funding allowed the company to "research and pursue new market opportunities that would fuel the growth of the company for the foreseeable future," according to a statement from the company.
The company also expanded north to Canada, sending sales reps to residents in Toronto, Ontario.
Between 2005 and 2010, the company's customer base grew 825 percent, according to the company's website.
APX was able to strike another deal with Goldman Sachs to the tune of $440 million in 2009. The company's customer base grew 34 percent.
APX Alarm expanded its product set with an LCD touchscreen called Go!Control. The panel allowed customers to control security system and thermostats remotely.
The addition of the Go!Control panel added more than 15,000 customers in six months.
The company acquired St. Paul, Minn.-based Criticom Monitoring Services, a subsidiary of Protection One. APX inherited 83 employees and allowed the company to expand its services nationwide.
APX opened its 125,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Provo in Dec 2009. The facility wasn't running until April 2010.
The company decided to rebrand in the Fall of 2010 in order to "better represent the potential and future direction of the company," according to the company's history.
APX Alarm changed it's name to Vivint on Feb 1, 2011. The name is based on the words "vive," meaning "to live" and "intelligent," which represents the company's efforts to help customers live intelligently.
With a new name, Vivint was ready to launch its new line of products. The company released expanded capabilities in its home automation product.
These upgrades include the ability to control lighting and small appliances, automatic door locks and video surveillance.
The company brought in $360 million in revenue in 2011, bringing in more than $27 million a month.
Total 2011 employment:
- 1,151- Utah, Minnesota and Idaho
- 683- Field Service (US)
- 53- Field Service (Canada)
- 3,378- Summer Sales Reps
- 1,270- Summer Installers/Techs
The company completed a four-month-long program called the Vivint Gives Back Project in which the company donated $1.25 million to 84 charities in North America.
Consumers Digest named Vivint Home Automation and Advanced Security a "Best Buy" in June of 2011.
Vivint received MaximumPC's "new top dog" award, beating out competitors ADT Pulse Premier and FrontPoint.
SDM Magazine presented the company with the "Dealer of the Year" award in 2011.
The company installed its one millionth system in September of 2011. The introduction of solar panels increased the companies reach and product base.
The company expanded its product offerings to solar panels. Vivint now installs solar energy solutions to customers in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Vivint introduced a secondary touch screen panel and severe weather alerts. The alerts warn customers about approaching tornadoes and hurricanes.
The company reached $30 million in monthly revenue, which is an increase of 940 percent over five years.
The locally-based magazine named Vivint "one of the Top Five Fastest Growing Companies in utah."
Vivint will be acquired by global investment firm Blackstone Group LP, valuing the company around $2 billion and making it one of the biggest deals in Utah history.
“Having Blackstone behind us supercharges our ability to continue growing the company and the technology and services we will roll out over the next few years” including international expansion, home health care and solar, Todd Pedersen, chief executive officer of Vivint, said in a telephone interview.
Blackstone will replace Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Jupiter Partners LLC and Salt Lake City-based Peterson Partners, who combined own about 50 percent. The private equity firm is also purchasing portions from Vivint management. The investment firm will own 75 percent of the company while the other 25 percent will remain with management. Those numbers are subject to change, Pedersen said. The deal will be finalized by the end of the year, he said.
The company plans to add another 1,200 to 1,500 employees by the end of 2013, Pedersen said in a phone interview.
Pedersen, Vivint’s CEO, will stay on with the company after the acquisition and for “as many years as they will allow me.”
“I’m still young,” Pedersen, 43, who has a wife and five children, said. “I think I still have another 17 years in me.”
Pedersen, who owns more than 25 percent, will be selling half of his share in Vivint to Blackstone.
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