Dunbar Armored purchases Texas company

Acquisition adds 73 trucks to fleet of Hunt Valley concern Dunbar buys company, adds 73 trucks

January 17, 2001|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

Hunt Valley-based Dunbar Armored Inc. said yesterday that it has acquired Star Armored Inc. of Texas, a move that significantly expands its market presence in Texas.

As a result of the acquisition, Dunbar, the nation's largest independent armored transportation company, will now operate an additional 73 armored trucks out of eight branch locations in Texas, with more than 175 employees.

Star was one of the largest independently owned armored carriers in Texas. The acquisition will allow Dunbar to expand service in the Dallas, Houston and San Antonio markets and to extend service into five new areas: Austin, Corpus Christi, Temple, Tyler and Waco.

"We wanted to accelerate the growth rate for our company in the Sun Belt area," said Frederick A. Aus, vice chairman and president of Dunbar Armored. "That's where the population growth is going to be in the next 10 years. We don't have to start up branches with no customers. We can start with the base we get from Star Armored."

The acquisition gives Dunbar a total of about 4,000 employees, Aus said. Gross revenue is expected to exceed $180 million in calendar year 2001, Aus said. The company previously operated on a fiscal calendar and reported revenue of $147 million in fiscal 1999, up 19 percent from $124 million in fiscal 1998. He declined to disclose revenue for fiscal 2000.

Dunbar does international shipments to and from Central and South America and the Caribbean and is seeking to expand into Canada and Europe, Aus said.

"We're continuing to look at opportunities in the international market," he said. "When you make the first move, you've got to make sure it's the right move."

The Dunbar family started in the business in 1923 when George Dunbar founded Mercer & Dunbar Armored Car Service, the first armored car company in New England, after an armored truck broke down at the car dealership in Hartford, Conn., where he and partner Floyd Mercer worked.

In 1956, it was George Dunbar's youngest son, James, who brought the family business to Baltimore after a disagreement with his father. The young Dunbar called his business Federal Armored Express, the name it retained until 1996 when the company adopted the family name to unite all the related companies and divisions.

Dunbar trails only Loomis, Fargo & Co. and Brink's Inc., the oldest armored car company in the nation, in size and revenue.

Its local clients include Allfirst Financial Inc., Mercantile Bankshares Corp., Provident Bankshares Corp. and Giant Food Inc. Nationally, it serves the Federal Reserve System, Sears, Roebuck and Co., Target Stores and Safeway Inc.

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