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Southampton: HWB helps weld Access Key & Lock and Croma Security Solutions in £2m deal

By Dan Teuton
10 March 2016

HWB Chartered Accountants, based at Chandler's Ford, has been instrumental in supporting Access Key & Lock, leading up to its sale to AIM-listed Croma Security Solutions Group plc (CSSG) in a deal worth £2 million.

Richard Hurst, a corporate finance specialist and director at HWB, has worked closely with Access MD Mark Whettingsteel since 2008 when he established his expansion strategy and acquired Fareham-based Centre Security.

Hurst said: “Mark started as a sole trader in 1998 and has expanded the business to what it is today.  It’s a great strategic fit with Croma. Access provides specialist locksmith services to prestigious customers and Croma has developed some innovative security solutions which will further enhance its offering.”

Sebastian Morley, chairman of Croma Security Solutions, said: “We’re delighted to complete this acquisition. Access Key & Lock is a fantastic business with a great footprint along the South Coast.”  

CSSG is an AIM-quoted total security services provider based at Whiteley near Fareham.  The business installs award-winning, bespoke, state-of-the-art security systems for government, FTSE 100 companies, small enterprises and private clients located in the UK and internationally. It has recently opened a branch office in Abu Dhabi to better service new and existing clients in the Middle East and its offering includes electronic security and fire, CCTV, access control, guarding and its biometric identification technology – FastVein.

Croma, which won Britain’s Best Security Retailer every year from 2008-2011, will now trade as Croma Locksmiths & Security Solutions, with outlets at Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester, Bournemouth and Brighton.

Whettingsteel has joined the board of CSSG, where he will run locksmith operations for the Group.