Australia’s largest private sector provider of Government Funded employment services has acquired the employment development arm of one of the Midlands top branded companies.
The purchase of Birmingham-based Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG) by Employment Services Holdings Pty Limited (ESH) will create an organisation with a combined workforce of over 1,400 staff operating from 138 sites across the UK and Australia. This is a key step in a strategy which will see the group become a leading global employment services and training provider.
PPDG chief executive Colin Birchall described the move as a significant turning point in the growth of the company. “We are confident that our collective strength and expertise will prove decisive in putting us at the forefront of skills development and employment services in the UK,” he said.
PPDG was established in 1998 by Pertemps chairman Tim Watts and Colin Birchall with a vision to regenerate local communities through employment. The company has experienced rapid growth through successful delivery of government welfare to work and training strategies culminating in a reverse takeover of Network Group Holdings Plc (NGH), following NGH’s floatation on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) earlier this year.
The Edgbaston-based company, which also has offices in the North-west, North-east, Herefordshire and Wales, changed hands in March in a £17.85 million shares deal with NGH, itself spun out of Pertemps in 2004. NGH issued more than 46.4 million new 35p shares in order to acquire a 67.1 per cent stake in the organisation that helps get the unemployed back to work.
Prins Ralston, managing director of ESH, said: “We sought to partner with PPDG due to its expertise and exceptional performance in delivering innovative skills development, training and employment services to highly marginalised individuals and communities throughout the UK.
“Our partnership with PPDG opens up significant growth opportunities for us as a group and is a key step in our journey to become a global employment services and training company.”
ESH was formed in 2007 when three high performing and established providers of employment and recruitment services in Australia were brought together. When seeking to develop an already impressive portfolio, ESH appointed Catalyst Corporate Finance to carry out an acquisition search in the UK which identified PPDG as a key strategic target for ESH. Through an existing relationship with the shareholders of PPDG, Catalyst made the initial introduction and assisted in negotiating and advising on the successful delivery of the transaction which completed on 16th September 2008.
Mr Birchall retains responsibility as chief executive of PPDG and becomes a member of the board of ESH where he will represent the interests of UK shareholders.
“I am extremely proud of the impact that PPDG has made over the past 10 years in the communities that we serve. As we enter a new era as a part of the ESH group I am excited at the prospect of delivering our services and replicating this success on a much wider scale,” added Mr Birchall.