Hydrogen Group merges with specialist recruiter Argyll Scott

Global specialist recruitment group Hydrogen has merged with international multifunctional specialist recruiter Argyll Scott.

In a statement, released this morning, Hydrogen revealed it has entered into a conditional agreement to complete the acquisition via the issue of 9m consideration shares, or roughly 27% of its enlarged share capital, in a bid to create a “multi-brand recruitment group” operating across multiple functions, industries and countries. 

The statement also expressed hopes the deal would help the enlarged group accelerate international growth plans, particularly within the Asia-Pacific region.

The deal sees Argyll Scott CEO John Hunter (above left) join the board of the enlarged group as executive director responsible for further developing the group's businesses in APAC and the US. Hydrogen Group CEO Ian Temple (above right) continues as CEO of the enlarged group, with primary responsibility for defining the group's strategy. A Hydrogen spokesperson also told Recruiter no one is expected to leave the business following the deal.

In a statement, Temple told Recruiter: “Over the last couple of years we have invested in building a global infrastructure platform and restructuring the Hydrogen business in order to be able to develop our contracting business and build ultra-niche businesses that are more relevant to today's business practices. We are now in a strong position to pursue organic and inorganic growth strategies in order to expand our international footprint and give us the strength and depth we need in existing markets.”

Looking ahead, Temple said the strategy of the group is to build a “multi-branded group” of recruitment organisations that empower careers and power businesses.

“We intend to leverage our global platform and increase economies of scale, while also driving higher net fee income and increasing profit conversion in our market leading businesses.

“The merger with Argyll Scott is an excellent match for Hydrogen. We have similar cultures and complementary skills. By forming a partnership with Argyll Scott, Hydrogen has been able to accelerate its growth in Asia Pacific. Argyll Scott has a market-leading position in Asia and an impressive management team that has almost unrivalled expertise in the region. Equally in EMEA, we have been able to add strength and depth to our London operation and create a foothold for the enlarged group in the Middle East.”

Temple also revealed Shane Sibraa, formerly MD of Argyll Scott's APAC business, will take over responsibility for all the enlarged group's Asia Pacific businesses in his new role as chief operating officer APAC , while continuing in his capacity as COO of EMEA, Lee Chant will take responsibility for group EMEA operations.

Also commenting on the deal, Hunter told Recruiter the deal would help Argyll Scott further strengthen its market position in Asia, support development of its business in the Middle East and reinforce London operations.

“This merger is about accelerating the growth of both brands, becoming the employer of choice in our industry, diversifying revenue streams and enabling us to deliver greater value to our clients, candidates and the group's investors,” Hunter said.

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