Billion Dollar Hardware Manufacturer Acquires Canadian EAC Company

By Brian Rhodes, Published Nov 12, 2014, 12:00am EST

Electronic access line Keyscan has been bought by mechanical lock conglomerate Kaba, in a move it hopes opens up new distribution and dealer channels in North America.

We examine what the deal means for both companies and the market in this note.

Two Mature Companies

Both Kaba and Keyscan are familiar names to many in the access control market. Keyscan, founded in 1984, has resold its electronic access platforms through major security distributors without the heavy training or dealer requirements of incumbent lines like Software House or Lenel. The company claims about $19 million in 2014 revenues and employs over 60 employees.

However, the purchaser, Kaba Group dwarfs Keyscan's revenues and longevity. The Swiss company was founded in 1862 and did more than $1 billion in revenues last year. The biggest piece of those revenues come from Kaba's legacy mechanical lock, key, and safes business. However, since the mid 1990's, Kaba began offering piecemeal access control products.  Kaba's electronic access products have eventually grown to include the (standalone access) e-Plex and e-Data [link no longer available] brands, and electronic safe Kaba Mas product lines.

Buying Keyscan brings a unified and full featured access management platform into the brand. Purchase price of the deal is not disclosed.

Market Impact

While Kaba is big, none of its electronic access product lines have been especially popular in the North American market. In contrast, Keyscan's core distribution and reseller channel are within that region, and Kaba openly reports the purchase is a move to "strengthen its product offerings in North America."

Historically, Keyscan has not supported outside controllers or interface hardware, and has only offered traditional hardwired access. However, Kaba's purchase likely indicates future direct integration to existing standalone access products, and adds Kaba's wireless controllers to Keyscan's management platform.

Outlook

We expect Keyscan to remain a mainstay electronic access platform in North America, and any integration of Kaba's hardware will likely increase sales of those devices as a result.

2 reports cite this report:

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