ACRE Purchases Open Options

Almost a year ago, ACRE CEO Joe Grillo approached Steve Fisher and Brian Bergstrom, founders of Open Options and began to explore the prospects of an acquisition. It was a casual conversation at first but has since grown to a final handshake and buyout of the company.

ACRE recently finished all the paperwork and has since acquired the company. Grillo said the purchase will definitely increase the company’s position in the access control market in North America.

“This is really a milestone for ACRE,” Grillo said. “A couple months ago we finished up the specifics of the acquisition, and now we move forward. Open Options is a great company; they are growing and they are profitable. They also have an enviable position in the marketplace, which balances ACRE’s presence in North America.”

For 20 years, Open Options has developed access control solutions that connect to leading security technologies to deliver a full-scale solution based on each customer’s unique needs. Open Options has been a Mercury Security partner since 1997 and is dedicated to delivering the most advanced open-platform access control solution available on the market.

Grillo said the acquisition will continue to expand ACRE’s competitive position in what he called a highly fragmented market with great growth potential.

“The acquisition of Open Options boosts Vanderbilt’s reach in the access control market and enhances our product portfolio with the addition of an open architecture access control solution,” commented Grillo. “With the international portfolio fully integrated, it was time to turn our focus to North America.”

With this transaction, Grillo plans to return to the United States from Europe after the company’s purchase of the security products business from Siemens, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Grillo said he plans to relocate to Texas. Open Options is based in Addison, Texas.

The leadership of Open Options will remain with Fisher, who is the CEO. Grillo said Fisher will still be involved and step back in to the day-to-day operations. Only a week ago, Open Options staff was devastated when company president and long-time employee Jonathan Berman suddenly passed away. This loss leaves a void at the company, but Grillo said Open Options has a “strong leadership team and Steve has always been the leader of the business.”

“We are pleased to join the ACRE organization with its strong global reach which will open new opportunities for the Open Options product range,” Fisher said.

Grillo added information on the trends that he sees going forward in 2019, to include wireless locks, mobile credentials and remaining focused on open architecture. He said to expect more of the same from Open Options, which is already moving in this direction.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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