The Milton Keynes-based recruitment business Smart Moves has joined Antal International’s network of more than 120 offices within 30 countries enabling Antal to drive further growth through access to a larger operational infrastructure, along with a wider portfolio of blue-chip clients.
The acquisition also presents the opportunity to potentially expand the Smart Moves brand in other locations and supports Antal International’s strategy to build its presence across the UK. It is an ideal partner for other Antal’s office professionals staffing agency Parkside Recruitment.
Established in 2000 by Managing Director Julia Hale and her co-founder Louisa Harris, Smart Moves places office-based personnel into a variety of temporary and contract roles across a number of business sectors. Smart Moves’ reputation and expertise will support Antal International’s growth, particularly in the placement of talent on a contract and temporary basis, which is increasing in prominence in the UK job market.
Following the completion of the transaction, Julia will continue as Managing Director supported by Louisa in a consultancy role. They will report to Mike Ryall, UK Group Managing Director and also work closely with another recruitment company under Antal umbrella, Parkside Recruitment. Parkside is based near London and operates in similar sectors, which will further strengthen Smart Moves position in the market.
The Smart Moves acquisition is one of the serial transaction deals which have been made by Antal globally. In 2008 the business sold its branch in Moscow, Russia to a private equity firm and in 2011 Antal acquired UK based Parkside Recruitment. In 2013 the international recruiter sold its Polish operations to the RPO and personal outsourcing company, Work Service and in 2013 Antal signed a joint venture deal with Career International, the largest ‘home grown’ recruitment business in China.
Antal’s Group CEO and Chairman Tony Goodwin commented on the recent acquisition saying “Welcoming Smart Moves into the Antal International Group is an essential part of our growth strategy across the UK. Through a planned programme of buy-to-grow acquisitions we aim to increase our multi-discipline offering by taking advantage of the talent and drive of recruitment businesses outside of London”.
“Having a presence in Milton Keynes is as essential as it is to be in Madrid, Moscow or Mumbai. The town is one of the fastest growing areas in the UK and Smart Moves position in the expanding and increasingly important temporary and contract employment market will be of real benefit to Antal.”
Antal’s Group Finance Director Sagar Ruparelia who with his team led the deal and was advised by Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance said “Smart Moves is a great business, a strong brand in its market place with excellent client and candidate feedback. As acquisitions and joint ventures always supplement our organic growth, both in the UK and globally, Antal is always looking for the right opportunity. It will be interesting to see how this synergy will obtain extra value and impact on the overall net worth of Antal Group of Companies”.
UK Group Managing Director Mike Ryall said: “This is what the group hopes to be the first of many UK acquisitions, all designed to add strength, depth and increased client opportunities to the Group business’s across the UK. As we all know Antal have a dominant presence across 30 countries, however it has always been my firm belief that we should be taking advantage of the flourishing UK market, and increasing our presence strategically across the country. I see the acquisition of this fantastic business, with its strong leadership team, superb employees and enviable client base as an important first step into building a portfolio of strategically located recruitment businesses who can share clients, candidates, knowledge, expertise and experience. I am thoroughly looking forward to working with Julia to further develop the brand and the business”.
Smart Moves’ Louisa Harris said: “We have built a strong and sustainable business that will be able to utilise Antal’s international reach to increase the opportunities open to our growing client base. There are a substantial group of companies based in Milton Keynes, which we have established successful relationships with, that also have operations around the world. They will be able to utilise Smart Moves’ new presence in international markets while continuing to benefit from our high levels of local personal service.”