CDS continues its ‘buy and build’ mission by acquiring Welsh business

News | June 2021

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The latest stage in CDS’ ‘buy and build’ strategy has seen it acquire a fire alarm systems business in Wales.

Monmouthshire-based Tann Synchronome, once the second largest fire alarm manufacturer in the UK, offers its services along the M4 and M5 corridor – from Wales and the West Country to London and into the Midlands.

The business began life in the 19th century, with a somewhat different focus. Its parent companies Synchronome of London and John Tann made clocks and safes. It branched into fire alarm systems nearly 60 years ago and in the 1980s produced the first British analogue addressable fire alarm system, the Vigilant.

Tann Synchronome designs, supplies, installs, commissions and maintains fire alarm systems created by manufacturers including Hochiki and Apollo. This in addition to a strong reputation as a leading supplier of security, access control and emergency lighting systems and support. 

The rollcall of equipment manufacturers complements CDS’ expertise as a longstanding partner of Honeywell. CDS is a Honeywell Gent Elite Technology Centre and one of the longest-serving Gent System Integrators, having been appointed in 2000. It can also specify, install and maintain Honeywell Notifier systems through group company, Powerpoint Fire Systems. 

Tann Synchronome customers include Proctor and Gamble UK, Foxtons and many of the UK’s leading schools and academy trusts. 

The acquisition follows the purchase earlier this year of Middlesex-based Powerpoint Fire Systems (Powerpoint), a Honeywell Notifier engineered systems distributor whose high-profile clients have included the All-England Tennis Club, home of Wimbledon.

CDS chairman Simon Cashmore said: “Our buy and build strategy has a three-pronged approach. We aim to broaden our geographical reach, add service capability and expand our services in the compliance sector. Acquiring Tann Synchronome enables us to impact all three of these. It has an established reputation in the sector and gives us access to adjacent services and to new clients across the UK.”

Tann Synchronome managing director Will Jones, who has 30 years’ experience in the fire safety business and will remain with the business added: “I am very pleased that the company will become part of the wider, dynamic and energetic CDS offering. Our combined clout and expertise should be of massive benefit to so many companies, schools, universities, office complexes and commercial operations.”

Simon Cashmore and CDS managing director Simon Abley, who acquired CDS last year, were the team behind outdoor services specialist TCL Group. They grew the business 14-fold over 12 years before selling it in 2019. Its expansion was achieved in a similar way – through strategic acquisition of complementary companies to broaden both its geographical reach and service offerings. TCL was named one of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Europe in 2017 by the London Stock Exchange.

  • Simon Abley, Tann Synchronome managing director Will Jones, Simon Cashmore and Tann Synchronome finance director Will Heavens celebrate the latest CDS acquisition.