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Empresaria acquires over 80% interest in New Zealand headquartered Rishworth

Empresaria has acquired an 82.6% interest in Rishworth Aviation Limited and its sister companies (together, "Rishworth").


Empresaria has agreed to purchase 82.6% of Rishworth for a total cash consideration of US$10.0m (£7.5m).  The remaining 17.4% interest is held by the senior management team, in line with Empresaria's management equity philosophy.


Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, with a regional office in Stockholm, Sweden, Rishworth is an independent staffing company supplying pilots and aviation personnel to the aviation industry, including Norwegian Long Haul, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines. Rishworth provides staffing services to clients across the globe, with a significant presence across Asia, Europe and Africa. It is a 100% contract recruitment business, with pilot contracts typically lasting between three and five years.


Rishworth is profitable and cash generative. During the financial year ended 31st March 2016 Rishworth achieved unaudited revenues of NZD$138m (£73m), unaudited net fee income of NZD$8.9m (£4.7m) and unaudited adjusted EBIT* of NZD$3.65m (£1.9m).


The board of directors of Empresaria believe the acquisition will be earnings enhancing on an adjusted basis in the 2016 financial year.


The company says that the acquisition complements its stated growth strategy of developing leading brands in its sectors and further diversifying Empresaria's business geographically. Rishworth is a contract recruitment business that fits directly into the company's focus on specialist professional roles and further improves our operational mix, Empresaria says.


Alongside the strategic rationale, Rishworth is profitable and cash generative and the acquisition is expected to improve Empresaria's KPIs. Rishworth operates in a sector with strong growth potential, with demand for airline travel expected to increase, especially in Asia and Africa. The board of directors of Empresaria believes the acquisition will be earnings enhancing on an adjusted basis in the 2016 financial year.


The senior management team of Rishworth will hold a 17.4% shareholding in the acquisition vehicle. In line with Empresaria's other management equity arrangements, the shares held by management are not subject to any put and call options; rather they are expected to be held for a minimum holding period, in this case of three to four years, before they can be voluntarily offered for sale to Empresaria over a minimum of a further two years.


The consideration is fully payable in cash on completion of the acquisition, based on net liabilities of Rishworth of US$600,000 (£451,000).  The consideration is subject to adjustment to reflect the actual net assets or liabilities on completion. Following the acquisition, Rishworth will hold cash balances of approximately US$9.3m (£7.0m).


In addition to the acquired cash, the acquisition is funded by a new multi-currency Revolving Credit Facility of £10.0m entered into with HSBC Bank plc on 30th June 2016. This facility also includes a further £5.0m, subject to further HSBC Bank plc approval before it can be utilised.


Chief executive officer, Joost Kreulen said, "In line with our stated strategy, we are focused on building a business that is diversified from both a sector and geographic perspective, has leading brands with sector expertise and improves our operational mix and temporary/contract bias. The investment in Rishworth directly fits this strategy, complements the Group's current operations and is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2016.  We are excited by the growth opportunities that being part of the Empresaria Group provides Rishworth and look forward to working with the team."




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