Talent management group secures second acquisition in six weeks

Lisa Gainsford CEO of Nicholas Associates Group
Lisa Gainsford CEO of Nicholas Associates Group
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The Yorkshire-based Nicholas Associates Group has acquired Ashley Kate HR, a specialist HR recruitment company, for an undisclosed seven figure sum.

The acquisition is the second in six weeks for the Nicholas Associates group, and follows a deal to buy XL Graduate Placement in November. Supported by RBS and RBSIF, the acquisition is part of an eight figure refinancing that will underpin the expansion and diversification of the group.

Lisa Gainsford, the Rotherham-based Nicholas Associates Group’s chief executive, said: “The acquisition of Ashley Kate HR is an essential step in diversifying our group into specialist HR recruitment.

“The company has an exceptionally strong brand and online social media presence, robust financial performance and a niche specialism that complements our other professional arms of engineering, finance and executive recruitment.

“We are delighted the vendors have given our group the opportunity to take their business to the next level.”

Corporate Partner Paul Mann and associate Mae Salem from Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds advised Nicholas Associates, which now employs around 225 staff following the recent acquisitions

Mr Mann added: “We are pleased to support the management team on a further acquisition in such short order, following the company’s acquisition of XL Graduate Placement in November. These transactions underline the scale of ambition of the management team which has a clear vision for the growth of its business, leveraging the brands within its group to access new specialist markets.”

DSW TS in Leeds provided due diligence for the group and RBS.

The transaction services partner, Rob McCarthy who led the diligence, said: “The transaction demonstrates another step forward for Nicholas Associates, executing on their growth strategy. We were pleased to support the strong internal deal team on this opportunity.”

Stuart Watson, director of the corporate transactions team at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “We are confident this acquisition will be a profitable decision and is fundamental to Nicholas Associates’ strategy of diversifying into higher margin sectors.”

The vendors were advised by Springboard Corporate Finance, led by partner Ben Bolt and assistant director James Bailey.