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ADT Adds a Cable Guy

Jeff Baumgartner
The Bauminator
Jeff Baumgartner

3:15 PM -- ADT Corp. , the newly spun-off residential security unit of Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC; London: TYI), appears to be getting more and more cable-friendly by the week.

The latest: Arthur Orduña, a former Bright House Networks exec who initially served as CTO and later as chief product officer at the cable-backed Canoe Ventures LLC advanced advertising J.V., has joined ADT as chief innovation officer, reporting to CEO Naren Gursahaney. (See Cable Guy Heads to ADT.)

Orduña, who most recently consulted with eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY)'s PayPal unit, is tasked with leading ADT's "long-term vision" and putting together a strategic roadmap to help "position the company as a partner of choice." (See Comcast Cozies Up to PayPal .)

ADT's long-term prospects have been a subject of much speculation after it became a stand-alone company with about 6.5 million customers in North America.

While recent comments by ADT's new CEO indicate that the company intends to go it alone, the rumor circulating for months is that the spinoff puts ADT in prime position to be acquired by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) or Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), two service providers that are relatively new to the home security/automation market and compete directly with ADT. The theory is that one of them could make a play for ADT and become the sector's market leader virtually overnight. (See Comcast Goes Big With Xfinity Home , How ADT's Spinoff Could Affect Google and Will Service Providers Steal ADT's Customers?)

If ADT's long-term vision includes how to fit into service provider architectures, including cable's, Orduña's certainly the kind of guy to help make that happen -- whether that's to help out with potential partnerships or to help ADT get ready for an outright acquisition.

As we've noted, ADT already has some very cable-friendly linkages. Edward Breen, the former chairman and CEO of Tyco who once ran the show at Motorola and General Instrument Corp., is still on the Tyco board. Frank Drendel, the founder and chairman of another key cable supplier, CommScope Inc. , joined the Tyco board in late September.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:46 PM
re: ADT Adds a Cable Guy

I agree it certainly would appear that ADT is being prepped for a sale to Verizon or Comcast or another cable company.

But you wouldn't know that from ADT's television ads, which talk about the company's years of experience that give it an edge over newcomers.

Those newcomers undoubtedly are the same broadband providers who would appear most likely to acquire ADT.





User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:46 PM
re: ADT Adds a Cable Guy

Good point about iControl.

ADT also has central monitoring facilities that could be attractive to Verizon or Comcast. Comcast currently relies on a third-party central station and Verizon doesn't currently offer central station monitoring.

Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:46 PM
re: ADT Adds a Cable Guy

That makes sense. They all remain directly competitive, so that will certainly come through in their marketing. But I did get a good question: why would ADT try to sell after they go public? My guess is they'd like to know what the market value is if they are going to weigh offers, if that's the direction they end up taking.  But such a deal makes some sense for Comcast and Verizon if they want to turn their efforts into a material businss much faster than they could trying to scratch and claw into the market on their own.

Plus, the cable guys have a pretty good technology angle to chase after. ADT, Comcast, Cox, Rogers and TW Cable all use iControl's platform for their new high end service packages. Perhaps that removes some of the potential integration headaches that could come with an ADT aquisition?



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