Andrews joins trend with overseas buy-up

Just a week after recruitment company Doughty Group became Candle New Zealand, another recruitment company has received significant investment from a major overseas player. UK-based recruitment company Select Appointments (Holdings) PLC Group has bought 85% of New Zealand IT recruitment company Andrews Partners through its North American IT flagship, New Boston Systems. The Select Group has invested $11 million, with the additional option of a further $6 million linked to the future performance of Andrews Partners.

Just a week after recruitment company Doughty Group became Candle New Zealand, another recruitment company has received significant investment from a major overseas player.

UK-based recruitment company Select Appointments (Holdings) PLC Group has bought 85% of New Zealand IT recruitment company Andrews Partners through its North American IT flagship, New Boston Systems.

The Select Group has invested $11 million, with the additional option of a further $6 million linked to the future performance of Andrews Partners. The Select Group of companies has an annual turnover in excess of $1 billion, and is listed on the UK and US stock markets. More than 40% of Select’s turnover is generated by its IT businesses.

Since 1994, New Boston Systems has returned an average annual compound growth of 56%.

Andrews Partners will continue to operate under its own name and there will be no change in management or personnel. Andrews director Paul Parry says the company name has been built up as a brand over 12 years and it made sense to keep it.

Candle’s entry into the New Zealand market follows that of Icon Recruitment (which bought Wellington’s Kelly Lux-ford) and Manpower.

Parry believes we’re now at the end of the consolidation and spread of big players into New Zealand.

“There is a regionalised focus that’s occurring. You have big customers and they want you to be able to deliver service to them across a region.”

He says there are some global recruitment contracts in place, and many preferred supplier agreements on a regional basis.

“With Manpower coming in, and Icon, Candle and ourselves, the spread has concluded, and what will happen from here is that there will be some recruitment companies that will go down into certain niches in the market and the fatter end of the market will be controlled by 20% or 30% of the players.

“The bigger players are getting bigger, the middle ground will fall out and the smaller players will just become niche players with local companies rather than the multi-nationals.”

Andrews managing director Mark Chote says the partnership means Andrews will have the worldwide resources of the Select Group behind it, while retaining a high level of autonomy and flexibility.

He says it recognises clients’ requirements and the need to source talented people through international networking — as well as enabling Andrews to meet the needs and interests of candidates as they travel to and from international work sites.

Select Appointments North America zone manager Joe Strong was in New Zealand to conclude the deal recently. He says the investment of 85% of the share-holding was part of Select’s ongoing strategy to establish relationships with strong, locally managed companies which are leaders in their market, but which also have the desire and commitment to internationalise their operation.

Andrews Partners expanded into Australia about three years ago and Chote says the partnership will open up the North American, European and Asian markets. Andrews has 35 staff in Wellington and Auckland, and 25 in Sydney.

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