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Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance supports recruitment industry growth through business acquisition

The Milton Keynes-based recruitment business will become part of Antal International’s network of more than 120 offices in more than 30 countries enabling the business to drive further growth through access to a larger operational infrastructure, along with a wider portfolio of blue-chip clients.  

It also presents the opportunity to potentially expand the Smart Moves brand in other locations and supports Antal International’s strategy to build its presence across the UK, outside of London, through a programme of acquisitions.

Established by a partnership of Julia Hale and Louisa Harris in 2000, Smart Moves places office-based personnel into a variety of temporary and contract roles across a number of business sectors.  

Smart Moves’ reputation and expertise will support Antal International’s growth strategy, particularly in the placement of talent on a contract and temporary basis, which is increasing in prominence in the UK jobs market. The company also works to fill permanent placements for clients.

Antal International, which was founded by CEO and Chairman Tony Goodwin in 1993, is a management and professional recruitment specialist with a presence in more than 30 countries and a workforce in excess of 800.  It works closely with successful employers across the world placing talented individuals to help businesses drive growth and long-term success.

Following the completion of the transaction, Hale will continue as managing director with Harris supporting the development of the business in a consultancy role.  Smart Moves will also work closely with another member of the Antal International group, Parkside Recruitment, which operates in similar sectors, to further strengthen Smart Moves’ position in the market. 

Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance has extensive experience of advising on transactions in the recruitment industry and secured this project based on its growing reputation in the sector.  The transaction was overseen by Corporate Finance Partner Carl Swansbury who worked closely with the both parties and other professional advisors including EMW, HH LLP and Wardhadaway.

Carl Swansbury said, “The recruitment industry is evolving to meet the changing landscape of the employment market and the economy.  This acquisition will strengthen Smart Moves’ position in the Home Counties while also enabling it to support Antal’s international operations.  

“We are delighted to have been able to advise on this transaction and utilise our increasing expertise in the recruitment sector to ensure a satisfactory and timely completion.”

Louisa Harris said, “We have built a strong and sustainable business that will be able to utilise Antal’s international reach to increase the opportunities open to our growing client base.  

“There are a substantial group of companies based in Milton Keynes, which we have established successful relationships with, that also have operations around the world.  They will be able to utilise Smart Moves’ new presence in international markets while continuing to benefit from our high levels of local personal service.” 

She added, “Having put so much of ourselves into building a successful business, it was imperative we had the right company to act on our behalf.  With Carl Swansbury’s in-depth knowledge of the recruitment industry, together with an appreciation of our growth strategy for the future, he identified the perfect partner for Smart Moves.  The success of this acquisition is very much down to Carl’s advice and influence.”

Tony Goodwin, CEO and chairman of the Antal Group, said, “Welcoming Smart Moves into the Antal International Group is an essential part of our growth strategy across the UK.  Through a programme of buy-to-grow acquisitions we aim to increase our multi-discipline offering by taking advantage of the talent and drive of recruitment businesses outside of London.  

“Having a presence in Milton Keynes is as essential as it is to be in Moscow or Mumbai. The town is one of the fastest growing areas in the UK and Smart Moves position in the expanding and increasingly important temporary and contract employment market will be of real benefit to Antal International.”

He added, “We have been very pleased with how Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance has negotiated and navigated this transaction and we would be keen to work with them in the future to support our growth programme across the UK.”


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