A FAST-growing North-East company yesterday unveiled a £25m war chest as it prepares for a push into the South.

Newcastle-based Technology Services Group (TSG) has secured the credit facility from Lloyds TSB, to fund further acquisitions.

Nigel Hudson, TSG's group director, said: "We are almost into the second half of our strategy. We are already in the Midlands, but want to bolster our presence there, and then start to look at the South-East."

TSG, based on Gosforth Business Park, turned over £36m last year and plans to drive this to £100m over the next three years. Growth will be achieved by buying up independent firms, to create a national network.

Its last acquisition was in February, when it bought Leeds IT firm Logical Solutions, for an undisclosed sum.

The company was launched two years ago by Graham Wylie, the man behind accountancy software group Sage.

It has since snapped up ten IT services firms, in the North and Midlands.

It employs 380 staff, with a customer base of more than 9,000 small and medium-sized businesses.

Mr Hudson said: "The private funding we had from Graham Wylie has taken us so far and we still have a certain element left.

"This facility enables us to extend our strategy, continue making acquisitions and move towards a national network of service centres."

TSG has a policy of only buying independent firms that are a good fit with its business model, which means Mr Hudson is unlikely to be getting the cheque book out again soon.

"It could be a few months before anything happens," he said.

Mike Stubbins, senior relationship manager for Lloyds TSB Corporate, said: "There's an element of dj vu here, as the bank worked closely in a supportive role for Graham and his colleagues during the early years of Sage.

"It's been a stimulating couple of years since the launch of TSG and we look forward to more excitement on the acquisition trail."