FKI Security Group Acquires Adesco

Aug. 1, 2005
Adesco becomes the third recent acquisition of this large player in the safe market, with member brands now including FireKing, McGunn Safe, EXL Safe, Meilink Safes, Gary Safes, NKL Cash Handling, and Image Vault Digital Video Recorders.

FKI Security Group has acquired Adesco Safe, one of the most rapidly growing safe companies in the nation. The Paramount, California-based provider of business and residential safes is one of the most established brands in the safe industry, having marked its 57th year of operation as a family-owned business in 2004.

According to Earl Halls, president of Adesco Safe, this deal will have "tremendous positive impact on the industry, since security hardware distributors and their customers will now be enhanced with expanded product offerings, training, and marketing that we have not had the ability to provide."

"I am proud of our heritage in an industry that has been so kind to my family for generations, and we are very excited to be a part of the vision for the future of FKI Security Group," Halls adds.

"It makes perfect sense for a safe company like Adesco to become one of FKI Security Group's member brands," says Van Carlisle, CEO of FKI Security Group. "Through this acquisition, FKI Security Group will continue to increase market share, grow the customer base, and expand the resources of our service offering."

When Adesco started doing business in the mid 1940s, the company built and installed safes and did locksmithing work in-house. Traditionally, Adesco's leading sellers were floor safes for businesses and homes. About 15 years ago, a shift began into the composite product line for residential and light commercial customers, offering both convenience and protection.

Halls also sees the safe market becoming more high tech, with electronic locks with audit trail capacity quickly replacing traditional mechanical locks. He estimates that 50 percent of new safes leave the factory with access control-type locks. FKI's Carlisle sees opportunities for locksmiths in upgrading older safe locks to the newer models.

In today's marketplace, locksmith shops are fighting the big box retailers to keep their share of the market. Adesco will maintain its brand identity and continue to offer a high level of dealer support, says Halls.

Adesco's website,, is written for the consumer, lighter on the technical details and heavier on the benefits and protections afforded by the various safe models. Sponsored listings on the various search engines help draw in potential customers. "Educating the consumer is how you get on their radar," says Halls. A unique dealer locator function directs consumers to local locksmiths who sell and service Adesco products. Adesco even "secret shops" its recommended dealers to make sure they are helpful and knowledgeable about the product line.

In addition, locksmith dealers are provided with printed literature directed to the consumer and color banners to draw attention to store displays.

Halls tells the story of one innovative Florida locksmith who opened a showroom next door to the local Home Depot. He benefited from a great deal of walk-in traffic. Shoppers at the Home Depot would survey the store's limited selection of safes and door hardware, then browse the locksmith's shop, where they would find a much larger selection and plenty of friendly, expert advice.

Consolidation is clearly the trend among door hardware manufacturers and the safe industry is following this trend as well, though on a lesser scale since many safe manufacturers are small, independent companies.

Halls said the decision to sell Adesco to FKI was partly about the pressures on any family-owned business and partly about FKI. "Van Carlisle and Fire King share our vision of what a safe company can be," Halls explains.

When Adesco started selling safes, six U.S. safe manufacturers were selling to the entire U.S market. Today, 50-plus manufacturers from across the globe sell safes in North America.

The Adesco Safe deal follows on a string of acquisitions made by the company. In December of 2004, FKI Security Group announced the acquisition of McGunn Safe Company, and in March 2005 they purchased EXL Safe Corporation.

Adesco Safe's manufacturing capabilities will be transferred to FKI Security Group's 51,000 square foot state-of-the-art safe manufacturing facility in Mira Loma, Calif. The company will operate as a separate division of FKI Security Group.

FKI Security Group began in 1951 as a manufacturer of high-quality FireKing fireproof files. In addition to Adesco, member brands include FireKing, McGunn Safe, EXL Safe, Meilink Safes, Gary Safes, NKL Cash Handling, and Image Vault Digital Video Recorders. The New Albany, Indiana-based company is privately held. Additional information about FKI Security Group can be found at