Deal summary

Founded in 2008, ConSol Partners is the UK’s leading technology recruiter across digital, cloud and communications. It provides both contract and permanent staffing solutions to FTSE and Fortune 500 companies, with major customers including Huawei, Cisco and Akamai. The business is headquartered in the UK with offices in Los Angeles and Boston. ConSol has won several awards including the 2015 Best Staffing Firm to Work For by Staffing Industry Analysts, as well as being listed twice in The Sunday Times Best Small Companies To Work For and the Virgin Fast Track Top 50.

ConSol Partners was setup by two recruitment entrepreneurs, Marc Cohen and Graeme Hubert, who are still the major shareholders. They have grown the business to over 70 employees and made placements in over 50 countries. Both decided that, in order to replicate the success of organically growing the business internationally, they needed investment from an experienced trade partner with a global footprint and local market knowledge in key international markets. Our track record of completing cross-border transactions, as well as our credentials within the recruitment space, were key to our appointment.

What difference did we make?

The initial objective was to select a short list of potential trade acquirers with a record of successfully investing in international staffing businesses. After an extensive pre-screening process, we presented a number of viable options. ConSol was an attractive investment proposition given its focus on placing specialist consultants into high growth technology sectors, as well as the owners’ track record of launching international offices. We also prepared the business for sale, helping management to develop their business plan and financial projection model.

We continued discussions with three potential acquirers. However, it was Empresaria which stood out in terms of cultural fit and presence in territories that ConSol were looking to enter. By keeping the other parties engaged in the process, we maintained competitive tension and secured the best possible deal for the shareholders both in terms of price and long-term exit options. Another key objective for the owners was to secure an incentivisation mechanism for the next tier of management in order to facilitate their full exit in 2019/2020 and we successfully helped design and negotiate this with the incoming investor.

The deal achieved a valuation multiple in excess of market comparables, reflecting the value of the sectors into which the business recruits. The deal enabled the shareholders to de-risk and secure an incoming investor who shares their vision for the growth prospects of the business, as well as having the expertise and financial means to help them achieve their objectives.

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