NES Global Talent has been acquired by funds advised by AEA Investors six years after the management team led a buy-out of the business.
AEA Investors is a private investment vehicle for a group of industrial family offices. As a firm, it manages funds that have $6 billion of invested and committed capital.
Graphite Capital is realising its stake in the company through the £234 million deal having initially backed a team led by Neil Tregarthen in a deal valued at £86 million back in September 2006. It acquired the business from Bridgepoint through its Graphite Capital Partners VI fund, which itself backed a £32 million buy-out of NES in 1999.
According to Graphite Capital, technical recruitment business NES Global Talent has grown each year since the management buy-out, with its EBITDA trebling during the period.
The company has moved from being mainly focussed on the UK to operating on a global scale. It now generates three-quarters of its profitability from activities overseas.
It has created 20 new offices since going under private equity ownership and now has 32 locations around the world.
Tregarthen comments, ‘Graphite has supported our ambitious growth strategy over the past six years.
‘We are very excited about partnering with AEA. We believe that their deep network in the oil and gas industry coupled with their international profile and resources and will be great assets as we look to accelerate the global expansion of NES over the coming years.’
Graphite senior partner Mike Tilbury adds, ‘Its financial track record in recent years has been exceptional. NES has grown strongly despite unprecedented macro-economic turmoil and is well positioned to continue to take advantage of the substantial global growth opportunities in its target markets.
Graphite’s current fund, Graphite Capital Partners VII, is a £585 million fund raised in 2007. The fund’s investments include recruitment process outsourcing business Alexander Mann Solutions and U-POL, an automotive refinishing products company.