Revealed: recruiter sold by administrator

Change put in administration on day of sale


Paul Atkinson
Paul Atkinson: plans for growth

Change Recruitment was put into administration on the day that it was acquired by Head Group last week, Daily Business can reveal.

Terms of the takeover were not disclosed but Daily Business has learned that Change was put under the control of administrators at FRP Advisory who immediately sold the assets to Head Group.

Head Group, chaired by Paul Atkinson, includes Head Resourcing, Head Medical and Atkinson MacLeod Executive Search.

When the deal was announced on Tuesday Mr Atkinson, who also runs the angel investment firm Par Equity,  said the newly-enlarged company would become one of Scotland’s biggest private companies with a £60 million turnover. All 140 staff will be retained.

Change was owned by NBG Private Equity who had been touting the business for sale for several months.

Pre-tax losses rose 50% from £1.43 million to £2.15m in the last financial year despite a 5.7% rise in turnover to £17.97m.

Mr Atkinson told Daily Business in an interview last week that there was a good cultural fit between the two firms and there would be investment in technology to help grow the new group. 

Mark McFall, managing director at Change, said in last week’s statement: “We have spent the last few years as a private-equity owned company, getting the business into shape so that we could drive growth forward.”

In response to calls from Daily Business, FRP Advisory issued a statement confirming that Tom MacLennan and Iain Fraser, partners, were appointed joint administrators of Change Recruitment on 15 May.

It said “the assets of Change Recruitment Ltd were subsequently sold to Edinburgh-based Head Resourcing Ltd for an undisclosed sum.”

Mr MacLennan added: “The deal is an excellent outcome for both companies as it brings together the resources and reach of two of Scotland’s leading recruitment brands. It also secures ensures continuity of service for clients and employment for staff.  We wish the new owners every success with their growth plans.”

In a statement, Mr Atkinson added: “We worked hard with all parties concerned to preserve the interests of staff, clients and other stakeholders, and achieve the best outcome for the business going forward.”

Interview: Paul Atkinson



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