Case Study

Passionate About People

Trade Sale of Passionate About People

After 20 years building and growing recruitment specialist Passionate About People to over £103 million in turnover delivering 28% NFI to EBITDA margin, the founding shareholders decided it was time to sell the business and thereby open up the next exciting chapter for everyone.

Having spent time getting to know the senior management team at Passionate About People, we were delighted to be instructed formally towards the end of 2017. We worked with the shareholders to determine the best strategy to deliver the maximum value on exit and designed a process accordingly. It was clear that the mix of engineering services, recruitment and RPO would not be easily digested by all. However, significant strategic value resided in each business for the correct buyer. Our job was to work with the team to find the best potential buyers for each element and structure the transaction in a tax efficient way to maximise net returns to shareholders.

Omega Engineering Services (‘OES’) was first sold to Belcan LLC, a US based buyer with interests in aerospace engineering services across the globe, who saw significant value in the OES customer base. Latterly, Omega Recruitment Group (‘ORG’) and Datum RPO (‘Datum’) were sold to Staffline Group Plc who saw value in the high quality recruitment business of ORG and significant growth opportunities in the neutral vendor solution that had been built at Datum.

The transaction delivered both value and an exit for the Passionate About People founders, all of whom were delighted to reach the end of a 20 year journey on a high.

Building Value

The process to exit was carefully planned and expertly executed on behalf of shareholders:

  • Exit Planning

    Working with the management of Passionate About People, Shaw & Co helped analyse the key value drivers with the business. We identified that a two stage disposal would deliver the greatest value to shareholders building a disposal process accordingly.

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  • Trade Sale #1

    Stage one of the process was to exit Omega Engineering Services ('OES') to Belcan LLC. OES supplies engineering services to key clients such as GE where Belcan is a global supplier of engineering services to, amongst others, the aerospace sector who saw strategic value in the customer relationships held by OES.

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  • Trade Sale #2

    With Omega Recruitment Group and Datum RPO remaining in the group, the offering was significantly easier for a wider buyer audience to acquire. The shareholders were therefore better positioned to run a process across a buyer pool that could attribute strategic value across the entire business.

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In October 2017 I spent many hours meeting and presenting Passionate About People and our plans to corporate advisors across the sector. Key to the partnership I sought was experience in the sector, investment of time, understanding of the business, shareholders culture and a clear plan for the future strategy. I instantly gelled with Jim Shaw as being the best person to support and deliver the next phase of our strategy. His understanding of the sector, knowledge of the buying community, trust, integrity and time he committed was fantastic. All the way through the process Jim and his great team including Myles Hamilton were tenacious, delivering easy to understand communication to the shareholders. It’s a challenging process and Shaw & Co really delivered right up to, and through the last hurdle. “Jim & Myles you should proud of what you have achieved and are achieving in the corporate advisory sector” A massive thank you to you all for maximising shareholder value yet being fair to all parties.
James Strickland CEO, Passionate About People

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