ONE of Scotland’s most successful disaster recovery firms has saved 25 jobs after taking over a crisis-hit rival.
FFDR, an all trades contractor specialising in salvaging flood and fire-ravaged properties, stepped in to buy out Homecare Contracts after the firm ran into difficulties and its 25 staff were faced with losing their jobs.
Ronnie Klos, managing director of Fife-based FFDR, was on his way to a meeting when he received a call telling him that Homecare was facing liquidation and the possibility of closure.
But just a few hours later, staff at Homecare – which had been serving customers in the Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders for the past 15 years – were told their jobs were safe after FFDR’s quickfire takeover.
Homecare – based at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate in Loanhead – is now trading again under the hugely successful FFDR banner, a move that will see FFDR increase its turnover by £1 million per year and bring its total number of staff to 100.
The takeover will be welcome news to insurance companies and their customers with both current and outstanding claims because it ensures existing Homecare repairs will not suffer any disruption.
As well as safeguarding jobs, FFDR will now use the takeover to expand into the Scottish Borders – a part of the country which they had previously had no involvement in.
Klos, who founded FFDR in 1998, said: “I am delighted to have secured the deal to take over Homecare, not only because it means I can save the jobs of 25 experienced members of staff but because it represents the continued growth and success of FFDR.
“When I heard about the difficulties the company found itself in, I had no hesitation in stepping in and taking over the company immediately.
“As well as adding the expertise of the 25 people to my company, it means we can expand into the Scottish Borders, which is an area that FFDR has not operated in before.
“The move represents the ambition I have for FFDR to continue to be Scotland’s most successful disaster recovery firm and I’m very much looking forward to the future with our new, expanded team.”
Angela McKinnon, an administrator with Homecare, said: “I was devastated when I found out what was happening with the company and we were told our jobs would be going.
“I have two young kids and a mortgage and I was worried about how I was going to manage but Ronnie and FFDR have come in and eased all those worries.
“Although it is a bit of a cliché, he has been our Knight in shining armour because he has come in and agreed to cover our wages for the month and continue trading the company as FFDR.
“We all know how successful FFDR has been and we are really looking forward to making it as big a success in this part of the country. Everyone has a renewed sense of vigour and we now look forward to coming into work again.”
Provisional liquidator Ken Pattullo, of corporate rescue and recovery specialists Begbies Traynor, said: “It is always a difficult time when a company finds suffering from financial problems.
“However, in this case, we are delighted that the business will be able to continue and that the jobs of the Homecare Contracts employees have been safeguarded and that those customers where repair works were in progress or were waiting to be started will not be inconvenienced.”
The takeover represents the latest chapter in the success of FFDR. In December last year, the firm announced that it had renegotiated all of its existing major contracts to run until 2011.
That news safeguarded the company’s future and allowed it to add £1 million to its turnover and take on an additional 10 members to staff.
Last year the company also invested heavily in satellite tracking software for its fleet of 46 vehicles, which can be simply monitored through the web to significantly improve efficiency.