Recruiters reported to be among bidders for NHS Professionals

Reports suggest two recruitment agencies are among the bidders to take a controlling stake in NHS in-house recruitment agency NHS Professionals.

Hays and HCL, along with outsourcing firm Serco and investment house Aurelius Equity Investors, have entered the bidding ahead of the government identifying a preferred bidder for the in-house recruitment agency later this year.

Last November, Recruiter reported the government was moving to privatise NHS Professionals, and was looking for an investor to take a majority stake in the agency, with a tendering process launched through an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Sky News reported late last week professional services firm Deloitte, who is running the sales process on behalf of government, has now asked bidders to lodge proposals to buy a majority 70% stake in NHS Professionals by this Friday (7 April).

Sky claims insiders have told them that Hays, HCL and Serco have all attended recent presentations to potential investors in NHS Professionals, while Whitehall sources claim Aurelius Equity Investors is also expected to table an offer.

Recruiter contacted the companies named by Sky for comment. Hays, HCL and Aurelius said they would not be commenting, while Serco had not responded by deadline. Both Deloitte and the Department of Health said they would also not be commenting, as the deal is commercially sensitive.

However, Recruiter understands government has had interest from a number of bidders who are putting together offers ahead of selecting a preferred bidder later in the year. While the process remains in a commercial and competitive stage there is no indication on sums interested parties have bid for NHS Professionals.

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