The US company behind global online recruiter Monster.com has gobbled up yet another Kiwi recruitment firm.
Global recruitment conglomerate TMP Worldwide has taken over Lacey Lee, which has offices in Auckland and Wellington, employing 38 overall.
The move also represents another consolidation in the IT recruitment industry.
Both sides refuse to say how much Lacey Lee sold for, but industry insiders say it will be "some millions". All managing director John Lacey would say is it's "a significant amount".
Lacey Lee claimed to be one of New Zealand's top five IT recruiters. Now, with its sister companies, it says it is number one. The private company has operated since 1995. Its director shareholders are John Lacey, Hugh Riley and Harry Hall, who all have many years of experience in IT and recruitment.
Lacey says his firm is profitable and is doubling in size every year, but several months ago he was approached by TMP. He saw the takeover as "something exciting, with opportunities for growth".
Lacey says it will be "business as usual" for his firm, but it will be able to take advantage of the greater internet and overseas skills and experience of its new parent.
Rival recruiters are speculating over Lacey's future, saying he is in only in his early 40s and might soon leave to do something else. "He's just taken the cash and run. John Lacey himself won't come cheap. I wonder how long he will stay?" said one, who didn't want to be named. However, Lacey scoffs at this. "We are committed to going forward. We are all on employment contracts and looking forward to making a contribution."
Lacey will be New Zealand managing director of Lacey Lee, but is unsure of any TMP board or other company positions that might follow.
Sydney-based TMP executive Alistair Sutherland says the takeover furthers TMP's policy to acquire recruitment agencies. He confirms Lacey Lee will remain an autonomous business. TMP's other Kiwi holdings include recruiters Morgan & Banks, Lampen Alectus, Cowles Mitchell Beadon and Methven Personnel.
Earlier this year, US IT training and recruitment giant Interim technology bought out Auckland-based Wilson White and Aacorn announced a partnership with Wellington-based Maxim IT.