Recruitment firm Staffline yesterday became the UK’s biggest welfare-to-work supplier after it struck a £36.4m deal to buy business consultancy A4E, helping crystallise a £20m fortune for A4E founder Emma Harrison.
The junior stock market listed firm, which offers a variety of outsourcing services, will pay £23.5m in cash and assume A4E’s £11m of debts.
The takeover will deliver a £20m windfall for A4E’s majority shareholder Harrison (pictured), who owns 85.5 per cent of the company. She stepped down as chairman of the group – which was founded in 1991 – in 2012.
Sheffield-based A4E, which tries to find jobs for people out of work, will be subsumed into Staffline’s existing welfare-to-work division, set to be renamed PeoplePlus. The new group will have a 23 per cent of the welfare-to-work market, the highest of any provider.
In a trading update, Staffline said it enjoyed its best ever start to the year in the first three months of this year in its staffing services division.
BEHIND THE DEAL: STEVEN TREDGET | LIBERUM
1 Tredget joined Liberum at its inception in 2007 and led the small- and mid-cap sales teams before joining banking in 2013.
2 Before Liberum Tredget worked at Collins Stewart as a smaller company equity salesman and analyst since 1998, executing primary and secondary fund raisings.
3 A running and cycling enthusiast, Tredget has a BSc in Banking and Finance from Loughborough University.
Liberum are nominated advisers and brokers to Staffline. Liberum’s Richard Bootle was also listed on the deal. Financial PR advice was offered by Buchanan, with a team headed by chairman Richard Oldworth and led by partner Sophie McNulty.