The privately-owned recruitment business, gap personnel group will be taken over by Trust Tech Inc. a Japanese-listed staffing company. The deal will see Trust Tech take a 75 per cent stake in the company, representing the largest UK investment to date by the Japanese firm.
gap personnel group, which was founded by Gary Dewhurst, is one of the top five privately-owned, independent blue collar recruitment businesses in Britain. With a turnover of around £136 million and an adjusted EBITDA, forecast for its financial year ending March 2018, of £4.5 million, the group has experienced impressive expansion through organic growth and a track record of successful acquisitions.
It owns and operates a portfolio of companies, which provide temporary and permanent staffing and training solutions across the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), warehouse and logistics and manufacturing sectors. With 45 locations across the UK, the group employs 240 and covers more than two million shifts for more than 1,500 companies each year.
gap personnel group’s existing management team, led by Group managing director and shareholder Mark Roberts, will remain with the business working closely with Trust Tech Inc. to further expand the group across the UK and Europe. As part of the investment, Trust Tech Inc. will provide significant growth capital to enable the group to grow further, both organically and through an enhanced acquisition programme.
Trust Tech Inc. first entered the UK market in 2016 when it acquired North East England-based recruitment and training solutions provider MTrec Limited. Listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, Trust Tech Inc. specialises in the provision of dispatching, outsourcing and sub-contracting staffing solutions. The company is currently executing a growth strategy, emphasising both organic growth and aggressive acquisition.
Advising on the acquisition, on behalf of gap personnel group, is Carl Swansbury, partner at Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance, supported by Alex Simpson. Tax advice is being provided by Ryecroft Glenton’s Simon Hopwood and Charlie Burton. Legal advice is being provided by Simon Herbert from Bevan Rose Solicitors.
Gary Dewhurst, CEO and founder of gap personnel group, said: “This will be an important inward investment, which endorses the high regard in which the UK is held by international companies and the confidence they have in the future of this market.
“We have built a robust and successful organisation, which is testament to the quality of our people and the relationships they have established in our core markets,” he added. “The involvement of Trust Tech Inc. provides a significant springboard for gap, which can open new domestic and international opportunities for the group.”
Yutaka Nishida, president and representative director of Trust Tech Inc., said: "Trust Tech aims to encourage growth and revitalisation of the economy globally through our primary staffing business in engineering, manufacturing and industrial fields. In line with our vision, Trust Tech is expanding our business by upgrading frameworks, growth strategy, and management platform. We expect gap personnel group, led by its strong management team, to provide a strong foundation in our European business. We hope to accelerate our growth together with gap personnel group."
Carl Swansbury, partner at Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance, concluded: “This acquisition can significantly increase Trust-Tech’s market penetration and expand the platform it is creating in the UK and Europe. gap has established itself as a key member of the UK recruitment and training sector through dedicated entrepreneurial drive and corporate expansion, which makes it an ideal strategic partner for Trust Tech.”