Zeus backs £30m recruitment buyout

The Manchester-based firm has acquired Air Energi, which provides recruitment for the global oil and gas industry.

Zeus Private Equity, a UK mid-market private equity firm, has acquired Air Energi Group, a recruitment firm that specialises in the oil and gas industry, in a £30 million (€35 million; $49 million) deal.

Zeus put £10 million of equity into the deal alongside Air Energi’s senior management, with Barclays Bank providing working capital facilities.

Air Energi has its headquarters in Manchester with offices throughout the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. Its clients include the likes of ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell. Following the buyout, Zeus’ managing partner Gary Tipper and partner Ed Fazakerley join Air Energi’s board.

Zeus, which was formed in 2005, has offices in Manchester, London and Bristol and invests in UK businesses.

The firm is currently investing its maiden fund, a £100 million vehicle closed in December 2007. Its LPs include European fund of funds Access Capital Partners, Macquarie Investment Management and listed fund of funds New Star Private Equity Investment Trust.

This is the fund’s sixth investment and the first time Zeus has invested in a recruitment business.

Zeus was advised by law firm Halliwells. KPMG carried out financial due diligence and commercial due diligence was conducted by Deloitte.