"Friendship has not affected a hard-headed business decision for both of us. "
Phillip Miller and Chris Pattinson met at school, play football for the same team and each took over their respective businesses from their dads.
Now Phil’s firm ABCA Systems, of Killingworth, has bought out Chris’s firm Tyneside Security, installing old buddy Chris as Managing Director.
It follows a bumper growth year for fire and security experts ABCA which employs 180 people. The firm, who specialise in access control, fire alarms, networking infrastructure and CCTV saw a dramatic leap in turnover of more than 50 per cent to £23million last year. The company has grown every year since Phil took over the firm from his father in 2005 and it is now one of the North East’s fastest growing firms.
Phil, who lives in Jesmond said: "ABCA is a North East success story and already one of the UK’s market leaders in fire and security systems. The time was ripe for expansion and Chris’s firm is the perfect fit. It’s the first business we've bought and we’ve bought it because it's a success with the potential to grow and grow. ABCA has grown organically through the years, and we can bring them enhanced accreditations as well as pass on the efficiencies of a large national team to Tyneside Security’s small, local family business to the benefit of our employees and our customers. The fact that I know Chris so well is just the icing on the cake.”
Phil and Chris went to Newcastle Royal Grammar School and they both still play for the Old Novocastrians football team which has strong links with the school.
Like Phil, Chris took over his business from his dad. He made the firm a success turning a loss to a profit in his first year and growing ever since. Tyneside Security is now a leader in its field for the installation, service and maintenance of intruder alarms, CCTV and fire alarms across the North East.
"We‘ve known each other for years and became good friends. Talking shop and discussing our business plans was very natural and I was delighted when Phil suggested he takes the company under his wings and keeps me on as MD," said Chris.
There will be no customer facing changes for Tyneside Security as the brand and business will continue as usual. But both Phil and Chris believe access to ABCA’s training facilities, technical support and buying power will help take the firm’s successful business model to the next level of growth.
"I suppose it’s quite unique that our lives have followed quite similar paths since we met and I’m looking forward to working together. But friendship has not affected a hard-headed business decision for both of us,” explained Phil.
“Tyneside Security already has a good reputation in our industry sector and great brand awareness. Chris took the company over at a time when his family had serious health issues and, despite that, he turned it around and made it a success. That is one of the reasons he is the right person to steer the business onwards."