De Winter for sale as Greens head home

IT recruitment firm De Winter International is on the market as its English owners choose to head home.

IT recruitment firm De Winter International is on the market as its English owners choose to head home.

Director Mike Green says the decision to sell the five-year-old company follows his wife Hazel's desire to return to Kent in southern England.

"We still have property there, so we never really left," he says.

Green has been in New Zealand on and off since 1973, when he worked in computer consultancy. He started his first IT recruitment firm Aacorn International in 1987 but sold his 50% stake several years later for another spell in the UK.

Hazel Green, who emigrated to New Zealand in 1989, also worked in IT recruitment and is a director and consultant of the current business.

De Winter International's website lists seven staff in Auckland, including the Greens and a UK-based consultant.

Green admits that giving the current downturn in the IT and recruitment market, the timing of the sale could be better. "It's a lifestyle decision. Our plans for the present are to retire and spend our time travelling and writing. I already have two books published and have two more planned," he says.

In an advertisement last week, Green says selling now will allow the new owner to "purchase a sound business at the bottom of an economic cycle for 'the right price' and take a capital gain at the subsequent economic cycle".

Green predicts a "shakedown" in the industry over the next couple of months.

"Consultancies such as De Winter with strong brands and good cash reserves will survive; others with unacceptable overheads may not be so lucky."

He won't say what his business may be worth, but the recruitment industry insiders think perhaps $200,000 to $300,000, though like other recruiters the business is possibly suffering declining profitability. They say the Greens and De Winter are well respected in the industry.

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