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The Newcastle office of Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance has advised on the sale of Midlands-based Willsco Limited and Anystaff Recruitment Limited to UK-wide Boardwalk Investments Limited ("BIL").

The Ryecroft Glenton corporate finance team advised Willsco Limited on the deal. Anystaff Recruitment Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Willsco, is a Midlands based staffing business owned by Matthew Williams. It has specialised in the placement of employees into food, automotive and manufacturing sectors since 1983.

UK-based Boadwalk Investments provides staffing and recruitment services to a number of clients across an array of industry sectors throughout the UK. Privately owned, BIL was established in 2009 and has achieved outstanding growth in recent years both organically and by acquisition.

Anystaff complements Boardwalk Investments’ existing activities and gives the company a stronger presence in the Midlands and in key market sectors, particularly automotive and food.

Ryecroft Glenton’s Director of Corporate Finance Carl Swansbury led the deal and worked closely with the owner of Willsco Limited to identify BIL as a potential buyer for his business because of the strategic fit of the two companies. The Ryecroft Glenton corporate finance team then managed the deal through to completion.

Carl Swansbury said: “This is a fantastic result for Willsco, Anystaff and BIL – the businesses fit perfectly. In Mr Williams we found an exceptional entrepreneur and a very well run business. It has been a pleasure to advise and lead such a strategically important transaction and we wish Willsco, Anystaff and Boardwalk every success going forward.”

Matthew Williams, who will continue on in the business to help build the new group’s offering, said: “An exciting future lies before Anystaff. Joining forces with an ethical company that truly cares about its clients and applicants is the main reason we elected to be acquired by Boardwalk Investments.

“It has the influence of a strong national agency, with the attitude and ethics of a smaller independent, which is a great combination. BIL is really going places and the Anystaff team is looking forward to the journey ahead.”

BIL said the acquisition was in line with its business strategy of making “selective bolt-on acquisitions to broaden both revenue stream and customer base.”

Tom McMurray, chief executive, said: “We were very impressed with the business and felt it would be a great complementary fit with ours. Anystaff has a great customer base that we hope to build on. This continues our strategy of acquiring businesses and we continue to look for further opportunities.”

Legal advice was provided to Matthew Williams by Peter Savage, partner and head of recruitment services team at Morrisons Solicitors LLP. Tax advice was provided by the transactional tax team at Ryecroft Glenton Chartered Accountants, headed by Tim Mallon. Rosemary Penn-Newman of BTG Corporate Finance in Southampton acted as corporate financier to BIL with Stephen Ward of George Ide LLP providing legal advice.

Rosemary Penn-Newman said: “This is a terrific deal for BIL. We were very pleased to act for them on this.”  Peter Savage commented: “We were delighted to work with Mr Williams to deliver a high quality deal in what remains a difficult environment for company sales.”


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