Neutral vendor recruitment outsourcing specialist, de Poel, has been acquired in a multi-million pound management buyout led by group MD, Andrew Preston, and his senior management team.
The team has acquired a majority stake in the Knutsford-headquartered business from the previous owner and founder to support further expansion and the continued development of products, technology and sector-specialisms.
Preston has assumed the role of CEO after managing a period of significant growth for the business in the health and care market, which follows a 20-year career across FTSE 100, PLC, Private Equity-backed and owner-managed recruitment and health organisations.
John Walker, ex-Equistone Partners Europe and Barclays Bank, will become de Poel’s new non-executive Chairman and will support the board in all aspects of corporate governance and delivering strategic growth plans.
Founded in 2001, de Poel generates revenues in excess of £700m and delivers cost-effective, quality-driven solutions to transform the engagement and management of an organisation’s non-permanent workforce. Its clients span the NHS, public sector and some of the best known privately-owned brands.
Tosca Debt Capital, based in Manchester, provided a facility to support the MBO. The deal was led for Tosca by Judith McMath, corporate development director. Santander Structured Finance, de Poel’s incumbent bankers led by Chris Thomas, also delivered a facility to assist the transaction and provide on-going working capital.
Andrew Preston said: “Having been part of the de Poel journey for the last three years, I am very much looking forward to taking the reins and leading the company forward.
“As the NHS continues to face extreme budgetary pressures and private firms wait to see what the fall-out from Brexit may be, organisations are increasingly looking for commercial and administrative efficiencies in their temporary recruitment processes - without compromising on quality or fair pay for workers. de Poel has a huge part to play in providing this service in the UK and we will be refocusing our efforts on cementing our position as a leader in this field.”
Gary Davison, partner at Tosca Debt Capital, added: “We’re delighted to have been able to support the de Poel management team in completing this transaction. The deal positions the business and management team in a way that will allow it to achieve its full potential in terms of growth and maximise shareholder value over the next few years.
“This is another example of a high quality deal having been sourced, advised and funded within the North of England and supports our ethos of being relationship-focussed and regionally committed.”
de Poel was advised by Park Place Corporate Finance, with David Hardless and James Croxen leading the deal.
Legal advice was provided by Addleshaw Goddard to the company and vendor, DLA Piper to Tosca Debt Capital, DWF to Santander Structured Finance and Squire Patton Boggs to management. KPMG and PWC provided financial due diligence and tax advisory services respectively.
"Having been part of the de Poel journey for the last three years, I am very much looking forward to taking the reins and leading the company forward."
Andrew Preston, Group MD
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