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gap personnel to increase acquisition activity following completion of Trust Tech Inc. investment

Saturday, December 2 2017

gap personnel is preparing for the next stage of its growth, which has been initiated by Trust Tech Inc. acquiring a 75 percent share of the business.

Following the completion of the £20.1m deal for the 75 percent share, Japanese-listed Trust Tech Inc. will support the use of significant investment capital to help North Wales-based gap deliver its continued and enhanced expansion plans in the UK and Europe.

The acquisition further strengthens Trust Tech Inc.’s presence in the UK, which began with the purchase of Newcastle-based trainer and recruiter M-Trec in 2016.  As a result, Trust Tech Inc.’s UK operations deliver a combined turnover moving towards £200m.

Listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, Trust Tech Inc., which has a profit, before tax, of £22m on a turnover in excess of £303m and has a forecast profit, before tax, for the year ending June 30 2018 of £28.8m, specialises in the provision of dispatching, outsourcing and sub-contracting staffing solutions. 

Its impressive financial performance is supporting a domestic and international growth strategy, which has included its recent entrance into the UK market and plans to expand further through its British divisions.

In a strategy led by founder and chief executive, Gary Dewhurst and Managing Director Mark Roberts, the company is actively exploring acquisition opportunities and is looking to engage with growing businesses in complementary recruitment markets, which could benefit from being part of gap.

The company has enjoyed consistent growth since it was founded in 1997 through organic development and a series of successful acquisitions.     

Providing temporary and permanent staffing and training solutions across the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Warehouse & Logistics and Manufacturing sectors, gap operates across 39 UK locations and is on course, in 2017, for its workforce to complete 2.5million shifts.

gap personnel’s existing management team, led by Mark Roberts, who is also a shareholder in the business, will continue to lead the business and will work closely alongside Trust Tech Inc. to support its growth strategy.

Gary Dewhurst, chief executive and founder of gap personnel, said: “We have found in Trust Tech Inc. a like-minded partner that shares our ambitions for growth and prosperity alongside a commitment to providing the highest levels of services to customers.

Following the completion of this deal we are keen to accelerate our expansion plans and my primary role moving forward will be to identify and work with growing businesses that we can add to the gap portfolio.

Gary added: “Without doubt this arrangement has been positive for Welsh-Japanese relations.  We were flattered and delighted to welcome Trust Tech President, Yukuta Nishda, to gap twice during the acquisition process to enjoy Welsh hospitality while they were exceptionally gracious hosts when Mark and I visited Tokyo in October where we were treated to a wonderful cultural experience.

This deal follows in the traditions of previous Japanese investments in Wales from companies such as Panasonic, Sony and Toyota, which have made a significant impact on the UK economy and we aim to emulate some of their success working with Trust Tech Inc.

We are, of course, both rugby playing nations and are looking forward to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.  While we are often adversaries on the pitch, in business we are definitely on the same team and working towards the same goals.

gap personnel group was advised by Carl Swansbury, partner at Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance, supported by experienced Corporate Finance Manager, Alex Simpson.  Tax advice was provided by Ryecroft Glenton’s Simon Hopwood and Charlie Burton.  Legal advice was provided by Simon Herbert from Bevan Rose Solicitors.

Trust Tech was advised by PwC Advisory LLC and Osborne Clarke LLP.

Carl Swansbury, partner at Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance, said: “This is one of the most significant industrial recruitment sector transactions to have completed in the UK this year and is a clear demonstration of the appetite for UK inward investment from outside of the EU.  While further establishing its presence in the UK and European markets, Trust Tech Inc. is helping to increase the pace of growth at gap personnel group, by supporting gap personnel in an accelerated M&A strategy.

It has been a pleasure advising Gary, Mark and the senior management team of gap personnel over the past few years and indeed on the ultimate sale of a 75% stake in the business to Trust Tech Inc. I wish the gap team and Trust Tech Inc. all of the very best for the future.

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