Gap Personnel Group Acquires a 60% Stake in Absolute Solutions Group
Butcher & Barlow advised Absolute Solutions Group in Northwich on its sale of 60% of its share capital to gap personnel group.
Alextra Accountants advised Absolute Solutions Group in Crewe, while Dains Accountants and Bevan Rose Corporate Solicitors advised the buyer.
Based in Cheshire, Absolute Solutions Group has a large blue-chip customer base in both Cheshire and Staffordshire, with its team operating out of additional branches in Winsford and Crewe. Subsidiaries of the company include Absolute Recruitment, Absolute Commercial, Absolute Health and Care and Bralin Recruitment.
Wrexham-based gap personnel is one of the largest industrial recruitment providers in the UK and is part of the TSE-listed Open Up Group Ltd. The firm boasts more than 300 employees and a group turnover of £200 million. With its acquisition of Absolute Solutions Group, the two firms will gain access to expanded technologies, talent and infrastructure to grow their mutual footprint in the UK recruitment market. The deal also happens to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the founding of Absolute Solutions Group.
Absolute Solutions Group joint chief executive Dan Marshall hailed the merger. “The cultural fit between Absolute and gap personnel is perfectly aligned, enabling us to build on our ambitious five-year growth plan and expand nationwide,” he said in a statement. “Our people-focused recruitment model combined with the geographic and operational infrastructure of gap personnel places us in an ideal position to bid for new client contracts, and introduce new cutting-edge technologies to streamline and strengthen our service.”
Jonathan Aldersley, Butcher & Barlow:
Please tell us more about the deal and the role in seeing it to completion.
The deal was complicated by having a split exchange and completion and also having agreed a completion date for the first working day back after Christmas! The deal needed to be the right one for the existing shareholders and management team as they would be retaining a 40% stake in the business. We have been involved with the business since its incorporation and have advised on various matters over those 20 years. Knowing the individuals involved so well enabled us to understand what was driving their negotiations and any points of concern which they may have had.
What skills and experience did you draw upon to ensure the transaction’s success?
Having over 25 years’ experience in dealing with corporate transactions, it was important to not lose sight of the fact that this was not just ’another deal‘ for the clients. Often, these deals represent the biggest single decision that they will make in life and are about safeguarding their future. It is important to identify the objectives of the client and then to draw on the experience over a number of years with other transactions in order to ensure that these objectives are met. One key skill is to identify which areas are non-negotiable and which areas can be conceded in order to obtain the key objectives. By having a good working relationship with the client, it enables these points to be identified.
Did you encounter any significant obstacles during the process? If so, how did you overcome them?
The one major obstacle was related to the deadlines and the time difference between the UK and the buyer’s parent company based in Japan. The time difference meant we would lose several hours in the day leading up to exchange, given that we were working to a Japanese timescale. It simply meant we had to be organised well ahead of the deadline and start even earlier than normal!