Acquisition of software provider to enhance US firm’s expansion plans for UK and Europe
TDS (Time Data Security), a Dublin-based workplace security software provider with nearly 100 employees, has been acquired by Dallas-based technology company ACRE.
The deal was announced last week, with financial terms undisclosed. The acquisition of TDS is to enhance ACRE’s expansion plans for the UK and Europe and bring new cloud-based visitor management and access control products from TDS to North America.
Speaking with the Sunday Independent, TDS chief executive Frank Hart, who founded the company in 1990, said he was very happy with the terms of the deal. Hart said he had also made a re-investment into ACRE.
Hart said the acquisition by ACRE followed TDS embarking on a programme to raise investment last year.
“Basically, we had quite a serious audience looking to get involved, including very large global companies in private equity and trade.
“To be honest, ACRE came to the table relatively late,” he added. “Their CEO Joe Grillo, I got a really good feeling from him and his team and their values. That was very important.”
As discussions progressed, Hart said he was confident that ACRE was the right partner of choice. He felt the company would bolster TDS’ expansion in the UK and the US.
“It gave us a clear runway to the expansion and getting up and running in the UK,” he said. “The timing was perfect. Coming out of Covid, normality on the horizon, really heavy engagement with our global clients on their return-to-work strategies.
“With the ACRE Group, it fast-tracks our expansion plans,” he added. “We were ready to push the button in the US, sending over a team from Dublin and myself to participate in it and really start building our ecosystem. Now, we’ve just stepped into an ecosystem that’s mature, developed and very ambitious.”
Hart added that ACRE Group hopes to achieve a valuation of over $1bn in the future.
TDS would continue to grow its Irish team with the deal, he said, though it wouldn’t be as aggressive. The company currently has a team in Ireland of 96 employees, with hopes to add up to 15 more.
Hart said revenue at TDS was about €19m, with the company on target this year for €23m.
“In Covid, we have won some significant new contracts,” he said. “We really have had very good engagement and closing on some of the enterprise clients.”
Hart said TDS hopes to operate a team from ACRE’s corporate headquarters in Dallas and embed itself in the group. Its Dublin, London and Cork facilities are set to remain the same.
“We are really comfortable with their [ACRE] CEO Joe Grillo, his aspirations and values really matched ours,” Hart said. “We see it as a very much accelerated option for TDS.”
TDS provides health and safety products, and recently noticed revenue had pivoted toward its software as a service (SAAS) business. It subsequently won contracts with several large firms, including multi-million global deals with Accenture and Mastercard.
The company developed a portfolio of products, including cloud-based visitor management, life safety and access control applications. It has over 30 years of experience supporting clients with over 3,000 sites and over 25 million users worldwide.
ACRE, which also focuses on the development and implementation of security technology, employs more than 400 people in more than 25 countries.
In March, it was acquired by private equity firm Triton Partners. TDS is ACRE’s first acquisition since that deal was closed.