Mishcon de Reya has recently advised on two deals in the recruitment sector: advising the management team on the sale of TMP Holdings to TrueBlue and the acquisition of Clement May by Staffing 360 Solutions. For both buyers the transactions signal their entry into the Recruitment Process Outsourcing sector, whereby internal recruitment functions are outsourced to a third-party specialist of the UK market. The deals support several trends observed in UK acquisitions within the sector, including the involvement of overseas buyer. Both TrueBlue and Staffing 360 Solutions are headquarted in the US, facilitating access to the EMEA market and increasing their global RPO footprint, with the vast majority of strategic acquisitions coming from trade buyers.
These transactions represent the continued activity we are seeing within the recruitment sector. There is ongoing movement in the generalist sectors, but the specialist areas of IT, data analysis and cybersecurity recruitment have, in particular, seen a surge in M&A activity as the demand for digital skills continues to grow. Diversification through the provision of "value add" services – such as talent management and interview management - is also proving successful for businesses in the sector.
The impact of Brexit on the recruitment sector in the long term remains to be seen, but currently there is a sustained appetite for acquiring high quality players in the sector.