Dunedin’s good sports

Red Commerce is a UK recruitment company that specialises in SAP experts; founded in 2000, it operates around the world and has built up a roster of more than 200,000 candidates in 80 countries, chalking up profits of £5.5 million in its last financial year. It’s also been a nice little earner for UK mid-market firm Inflexion, which backed a £15 million MBO in 2005 and has just sold it to fellow UK firm Dunedin for £44 million.

So how has Red achieved this impressive growth? Well, the company’s management (and, presumably, Inflexion) will tell you that it’s down to the quality of its customer service, the strength if its candidate base, and so on and so forth. But First Round’s eyes were drawn to another juicy titbit in the sale announcement: apparently, no fewer than seven of its senior team have won some kind of national or representative sporting honours, including COO Stephen Lawrence, who won fencing gold for Scotland at the 1994 Commonwealth Championships, and CEO Richard Vercesi, who’s been playing semi-pro football for the last 15 years. With a competitive streak like that in the upper echelons, it’s no wonder Red has managed to rout its rivals.

And if we were Dunedin, we might be a bit wary about including any sporting element at our next portfolio company get-together…