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Matchtech Group plc Appoint Brian Wilkinson as Chairman

Matchtech Group plc  Appoint Brian Wilkinson as Chairman

Matchtech Group plc  is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Wilkinson as Executive Chairman with effect from 2 December 2013.

George Materna, 60, the current Non-Executive Chairman who founded the Group in 1984, will become Non-Executive Deputy Chairman with effect from the same date.  

Brian Wilkinson has worked in the recruitment industry for over 30 years, most recently as an Executive Board member of Randstad Holdings NV ("Randstad"), the world's 2nd largest recruitment company.  He brings to the Group a track record of successful international strategic development, including through merger and acquisition, and extensive experience of professional services recruitment.  As Chairman, he will work closely with Adrian Gunn, Group Chief Executive, and the other members of the executive team, with complementary skills to help deliver the next stage of the Group's long term growth strategy.

Brian, 57, was an Executive Board Member of Randstad from 2008 until 2012 and was responsible for a geographical area including the UK, Dubai, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, with 4,000 staff and combined revenues of &euro1.4bn.  In this role, he initiated and implemented a new strategy for the UK business, involving the restructuring and integration of the front and back offices as well as a major re-branding exercise.  He completed a similar strategic exercise in Australia and New Zealand, rationalising brands and improving efficiency, and led the accelerated development of Randstad's Chinese permanent recruitment business.

He joined Randstad in 2008 through the acquisition of Vedior NV where he had served on the Board of Management since 2003.  Prior to this, he was Commonwealth Zone Manager for Select Appointments plc, a then UK and US listed recruitment business acquired by Vedior in 2003.  Previously, he spent 7 years as Managing Director of Initial Personnel Services.

Pursuant to the above changes and with effect from 2 December 2013, Andy White, currently Non-Executive Deputy Chairman, will step aside from this role but will remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director.  Ric Piper, a Non-Executive Director since 2006, will become Senior Independent Director.

George Materna, Chairman, said: "I am delighted that Brian Wilkinson has agreed to succeed me as Chairman.  There is clearly good existing momentum within Matchtech Group, but the Board and the executive team share an ambitious plan to build a significantly larger and more profitable group.  I am therefore certain that now is the right time to bring in someone with the external perspective and international experience that Brian has developed over his career, including within one of the world's largest recruitment firms.

"Brian's complementary skills will be a tremendous asset as he works with us to capitalise fully on the opportunities that are in front of us, and to deliver significant further growth in value to shareholders over time."

Brian Wilkinson said: "I have admired the Matchtech Group, and its senior team, for many years.  It is a business very ably led by Adrian Gunn, and with a first class reputation in its chosen markets.  I am excited by the opportunity of joining a strong leadership team, and of working with them to deliver the next chapter in the Group's success."

Adrian Gunn, Group Chief Executive, said: "Brian Wilkinson has an excellent reputation in our industry and I very much look forward to working with him.  He will add a fresh perspective and valuable additional skills to the management team.

"George Materna is recognised internally and throughout the wider industry as having created a highly successful business over the past 30 years.  He will be equally respected for his progressive and forward-looking decision to pass the Chairmanship to Brian Wilkinson who has the credentials to help accelerate the next stage of our strategic vision."

The company has also announced a Cash Placing

The placing of 1,050,000 new ordinary shares of 1 pence each (the "Placing Shares") at a price of 405 pence per new ordinary share (the "Placing Price") raising &pound4.3m (approximately &pound4.1m net of expenses) (the "Placing"). The Placing Shares will represent approximately 4.3% of the enlarged issued share capital. The Placing has been fully underwritten by Numis Securities Limited.

The proceeds of the Placing will be used to repay the drawdown on the Group's existing lending facility which was used to fund the acquisition of Application Services Limited, trading as Provanis, for a total cash consideration of &pound4.0m, as announced on 6 September 2013.

The Placing Price represents a discount of approximately 8.7% to the middle market price of 443.5 pence per ordinary share at the close of business on 19 September 2013, being the latest practicable date prior to the date of this Announcement. The Placing Shares will, on Admission, rank pari passu in all respects with the existing ordinary shares and will have the right to receive all dividends and other distributions thereafter declared, made or paid in respect of the issued ordinary shares.

Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the Placing Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM. It is expected that admission of the Placing Shares to AIM will become effective, and dealings in the Placing Shares will commence on AIM, at 8.00am on 25 September 2013.


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