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Defender Direct acquires Williams Comfort Air

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Home-security and satellite-dish company Defender Direct Inc. has acquired local heating, cooling and plumbing powerhouse Williams Comfort Air, the company announced Wednesday morning.

The acquisition will create a home-services company with nearly 2,200 employees and $335 million in annual revenue.

Terms of the transaction were not divulged.

Indianapolis-based Defender Direct said its purchase of Carmel-based Williams should enable the company to grow its heating and cooling operations in multiple locations, starting in Cincinnati and Louisville. Defender Direct began rolling out its HVAC-installation service in the two cities in September 2011, when it selected Carrier Corp. as its equipment provider.

In a prepared statement, Defender Direct President and CEO Marcia Barnes said the acquisition of Williams takes the company’s heating and cooling offerings to the next level.

“Williams Comfort Air has a legacy of growth and delivering outstanding results,” she said. “This represents the combination of two locally owned and operated, privately held companies with a common goal of providing a pipeline of quality services into the American home.”

Defender Direct pegs itself as the second-largest seller of home-security systems in the country, trailing only ADT. Selling home heating and cooling services to that customer base should help the company grow even more.

Defender Direct’s revenue climbed 81 percent from 2008 to 2010, to $256 million, ranking it as the 15th-fastest-growing private company in the Indianapolis area, according to IBJ statistics. Sales topped $311 million last year.
 
Williams grew nearly as quickly during the same three-year period. Its revenue increased 63 percent, to $22.2 million, ranking it as the 17th-fastest-growing company.  Revenue hit $23 million in 2011.

Defender Direct said it will retain the Williams name, leadership and its 180 employees.

Defender Direct has roughly 2,000 employees at 140 locations nationwide. About 800 of those employees work in Indiana.

Joe Huck, president and owner of Williams, has worked in heating and cooling since 1974, and founded Huck Heating in 1985. He sold the company in 2001 to Maryland-based Bluedot, where he worked until 2007.

In May 2007, Huck, along with four business partners, acquired Carmel-based Williams. The partners bought the then-41-year-old company from Jim Williams Sr., who was preparing to retire. Williams founded another HVAC company with family members called Edge Guys.

Founded in 1998 by David P. Lindsey, Defender Direct’s security and satellite television brands include ADT and DISH Network.
 

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  • STILL a GREAT company!!
    Why would anyone jump to conclusions that this company is going down hill because of this acquisition? I know that Williams Comfort and Mr. Plumber are great SERVICE companies and the same people I've talked to for years are still there. Whenever I've called them they have always been attentive, prompt and have taken care of our needs. We will definitely continue to use them for heating and plumbing services.
  • Williams still in business as Edge Guys
    Jim Williams did not retire from the HVAC business. After selling the family business, determined to build a warm, personal, customer first, family-friendly company, he launched EDGE GUYS heating and cooling. EDGE GUYS is located in Carmel, IN and prides itself on providing comfort you can trust, with integrity and personal attention.
  • Jim Williams
    FYI, Jim Williams has a small company he founded after he sold Williams Comfort Air called The Edge Guys by Jim Williams in Carmel. He is not retired.
  • Really too bad
    Another fine local company bites the dust. I've been a WCA customer for several years, and have been really pleased with how they operate. The various technicians have been knowledgeable and professional in appearance. Now it will be just another company.
  • Williams was a good company
    Defender Direct has a reputation of doing anything to get the deal closed. Just type it in online and see the on going complaints. Williams has always been a quality company that worked with thier client base to help. The employees I spoke to as a client enjoyed working for Williams. I guess we will see if the standards are maintained. That will be the only way they will continue to get my business.

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