• Mergers and acquisitions experts say they expect to see a growing number of deals over second half of the year as US staffing companies acquire UK recruiters.
John Bissell, senior partner in LBA Associates, a firm that buys and sells recruitment companies, told Recruiter there has been “a significant improvement” in the market with five UK recruiters under offer compared with one this time last year. He said that US staffing companies were particularly interested in technical, engineering, mainstream industrial and commercial recruiters, with a valuation between £20m and £30m.
Andrew Saul, a partner in the recruitment team at Osborne Clarke, agreed there is significant interest in UK staffing companies from the US. “Quite a few US staffing companies are doing well, and are almost victims of their own success,” Saul told Recruiter. “Multinational corporations are putting them under pressure to internationalise.”
UK staffing companies also had a good reputation for internationalising, Saul said, and US recruiters saw their acquisition as a good way of establishing a platform in other parts of the world, particularly in Singapore, China and Germany. He said that despite growing fears of a global slowdown, his sense was that US staffing companies were still doing well and could afford to do deals.
Tim Evans, managing director of Boxington Corporate Finance, told Recruiter that US staffing companies were showing a growing interest in making acquisitions in the UK, but they were not the only ones. Australian recruiters who were doing well on the back of the energy boom were also actively looking at the UK. Interest was not concentrated on specific sectors, said Evans, but across many different sectors, depending on the company’s own unique business strategy.