Graphite headhunter bolts-on competitor

The UK mid-market firm is looking to repeat its previous successes in the recruitment sector.

Graphite Capital-owned recruitment outsourcing company Alexander Mann Solutions has bought rival Capital Consulting for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement.

Alexander Mann is the largest recruitment outsourcing company in the UK market, while Capital Consulting is the second largest. 

This is Alexander Mann’s first acquisition since Graphite bought the company for £100 million (€132.9 million; $196 million) in December 2007.

Capital has clients such as American Express, Britvic, Vodafone and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Together the two companies will have more than 40 clients across 50 countries.

Capital’s turnover has risen from £16.9 million in 2005 to £20 million in 2007. Capital’s Hong Kong office will provide a base for further growth of the company in the Asia-Pacific region, the statement said.

Graphite organised the financing of the acquisition through a combination of existing and new debt facilities provided by global bank HSBC.

Graphite has in the past invested in similar businesses, buying recruitment firm NES from European buyout firm Bridgepoint for £86 million and headhunter Huntress, which it sold to Nomura for an undisclosed sum in November.

A source said the Huntress sale made a 7.6 times return on its investment and an internal rate of return of 38.5 percent over seven years, taking into account a refinancing in June 2000.