GRS Group undergoes MBO

The headhunting company sells to a private equity backed team


Headhunting company GRS International has undergone an £18m management buy-out (MBO).

The takeover was led by chief executive Ken Brotherston and is backed by private equity companies Penta Capital and Investec. Company founders Richard Paisley and Dan Chester have both retained a stake in the business.

The Brighton-based business specialises in finding top personnel in the tax and legal sector. It was founded in 2002, and has offices in Hong Kong, London, Munich, New York, Paris, and Zurich. 

As a result of the deal, finance director Mark Webster and Mark Phillips, a partner at Penta, have both joined the company’s board.

Brotherston said: “This is great news for GRS.The company already has a fantastic management team, a proven track record, and an outstanding client list.

“Penta recognises the huge strengths of the GRS business model and its resilience in the current economic climate.  We look forward to a very exciting future for the company and to providing an even better service to our clients.”

Phillips added: “GRS has an excellent reputation with its customers and partners and provides an opportunity for us to back an experienced management team in niche markets with strong growth prospects. 

“The GRS business plan matches our appetite for supporting established businesses with deep industry knowledge in their markets. GRS is as specialist as it gets in the recruitment space.”

The company received corporate finance advice from Katie Folwell-Davies and Tom Gallop at Deloitte & Touche, while legal expertise was provided by Simon Fielder at Bird & Bird.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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