Knox Lane acquires majority stake in Guardian Fire Protection Services

January 23, 2024

Knox Lane announces acquisition of Guardian Fire Protection Services

Knox Lane, an investment firm with a focus on growth in the services and consumer sectors, revealed its acquisition of a majority stake in Guardian Fire Protection Services.

The terms of this transaction remain undisclosed.

Guardian Fire Protection Services, known as Guardian, sees its current leadership, including CEO Scott Agge, retaining a significant minority stake and reinvesting alongside Knox Lane.

Guardian: A leader in fire and life safety services

Based in Maryland, Guardian stands as a trusted partner for over 24,000 commercial customers across nine locations in the mid-Atlantic and Midwestern United States.

With services ranging from engineering and design to inspections, testing, and maintenance, Guardian is known for its comprehensive approach to fire protection services.

The company’s strong reputation is bolstered by its skilled technicians and a culture focused on efficient service delivery.

Strategic growth ahead for Guardian with Knox Lane partnership

This new partnership aims to fuel Guardian’s next growth phase, with plans for business development, digital marketing investments, operational efficiencies, and an expanded geographic presence, partly through strategic acquisitions.

Scott Agge, CEO of Guardian, expressed pride in the company’s 20-year journey and its team of professionals.

He remarked: “As we look to capitalize on the multidimensional growth opportunities ahead, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Knox Lane team to build on our momentum and enter a new phase of growth.

They understand our business, market, and the essential role our solutions provide for our customers, and importantly, share our culture, values, and vision for continued success.”

Shamik Patel and David Coghlan of Knox Lane emphasized their enthusiasm for the partnership.

“Scott and the Guardian team have developed a purpose-built platform providing best-in-class service offerings across the entire fire and life safety ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to partner with them,” they said.

John Bailey, Managing Partner at Knox Lane, also expressed gratitude for the partnership.

“Guardian’s resilient business model, culture, and foundation make it an excellent fit with our strategy.

“We look forward to enabling the next chapter of the Company’s growth,” he said.

Advisory roles in the transaction

Harris Williams acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Guardian Fire Protection, with Bodman PLC as legal counsel.

On the other hand, Robert W. Baird & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as financial advisor and legal counsel, respectively, for Knox Lane.

FSJA Comment

This acquisition marks a significant moment for Guardian Fire Protection Services, reflecting the ongoing consolidation and growth within the fire and life safety sector.

The partnership with Knox Lane is poised to bolster Guardian’s operational capabilities and expand its market reach, signaling potential shifts in service dynamics and market competition.

The investment indicates confidence in Guardian’s business model and its ability to deliver quality services across a wide geographical area.

The move also exemplifies the growing trend of investment firms actively engaging in specialized service sectors, aiming to leverage their expertise and resources for scalable growth.

As the fire and life safety industry continues to evolve, such partnerships could become increasingly common, driving innovation and efficiency in this critical sector.

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