Phillip Miller and Chris Pattinson.
Jane Imrie

Childhood friends join forces as security specialist completes acquisition

Two former school friends in North Tyneside have teamed up to combine their respective businesses.

Killingworth-based ABCA Systems has acquired Tyneside Security, reuniting schoolmates and respective owners Phillip Miller and Chris Pattinson.

As part of the deal, Phil has installed Chris as managing director of the fire and security firm, which has a 180-strong workforce.

Phil explained: “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.”

Both businessmen, who attended Newcastle Royal Grammar School and both still play for the Old Novocastrians football team, took over their businesses from their fathers.

Chris commented: “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 take the company under his wings and keep me on as MD.”

Commenting on the friendship, Phil added: “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.

“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.”

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