Universal Protection Service, a division of Universal Services of America and a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus and Partners Group, announced this week that is has acquired Memphis-based competitor Guardsmark. Together, these companies create the largest U.S.-owned security company.

Guardsmark has more than 125 offices serving more than 400 cities in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Universal Protection Service, headquartered in Santa Ana, California, operates nationwide in 100-plus locations, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The combined company will employ approximately 60,000 security professionals, with coverage in all 50 U.S. states, as well as Canada.

According to Universal’s CEO Steve Jones, this acquisition will help Guardsmark’s management improve its efficiency, especially through the use of Universal’s Web-based national recruiting program, which helps to streamline the hiring and screening process, freeing up account managers to focus on their clients. Universal has a history of integrating technology with its traditional security officer services, and that value-adding culture will trickle down through the Guardsmark customer base as well, Jones tells Security.

In addition, throughout the transition into the Universal culture, Guardsmark customers will see their security forces being empowered to make decisions in the field instead of relying too closely on a traditional chain of command, freeing them up to better serve the customer by making more agile decisions, Jones says.

Ira Lipman, the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Guardsmark, will join Universal as the Vice Chairman of the board. 

You can read the official press release here.