Graphite buys headhunter for £100m

Graphite Capital, the UK mid-market firm, has bought recruitment outsourcing firm Alexander Mann Solutions as it looks to grow the company internationally and by product range.

UK mid-market firm Graphite Capital has bought Alexander Mann Solutions from global buyout firm Advent International for £100 million (€139 million; $203 million).  
                                                      
All of the senior management team, led by chief executive Rosaleen Blair, have substantially invested in the buyout, Graphite said in a statement.  Graphite invested £50 million from its seventh fund, which raised £475 million in June. It is the firm’s first deal from the new fund.

Alexander Mann is the largest independent provider of recruitment outsourcing to blue-chip companies worldwide. The company had a turnover of £340 million in the year to September 2007.  It is set for long-term double digit growth, the statement said. The company currently recruits in Europe, the Far East, Australasia and the US.

Graphite will use existing growth to develop other products and services as well as expanding into other geographies and industry sectors.

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 last month.

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.

HSBC provided acquisition finance, senior debt and invoice discounting facilities.