Bluestones Investment Group completes double acquisition

Bluestones Investment Group has completed its latest acquisitions with the purchase of New Zealand-based Home Recruitment (Home) and its sister business, based in London, Australasian Recruitment Company (ARC).

ARC was founded in 2003 by Jeremy Nicholls and Samantha Webster to help place candidates, often from Australia and New Zealand, as well as local talent, into positions across all sectors of industry, promptly securing an enviable global client list. 

Samantha subsequently moved to New Zealand in 2015 where, along with colleague Minta Holton, who is also a shareholder in the business, established Home Recruitment. 

Home specialises in helping talent returning to the country from working overseas secure permanent positions or seek new opportunities in New Zealand.

Jeremy moved to Australia in 2019, retaining his shareholding in ARC, and handing the day-to-day management of the business to its shareholding senior management team Holly Finlayson and Ruth Mojzis.

As a result of the acquisitions, Jeremy and Samantha will exit in quarter one 2024 with Holly, Ruth, and Minta continuing to grow the businesses working closely with Bluestones Investment Group.

Chester-based Bluestones invests in recruiters, recruitment companies, and staffing services organisations to help them scale, as well as providing a range of support services such as payroll and marketing. It currently has a portfolio of over 20 businesses across the professional services, healthcare, education, technical & engineering, generalist, and support sectors.

Bluestones Investment Group was identified as an ideal investment partner for the two businesses by Newcastle-based RG Corporate Finance (RGCF), which was instructed by Samantha and Jeremy to source potential strategic acquirers and in turn advise on the sale of both businesses.

Providing corporate finance advice to the shareholders of Australasian Recruitment Company and Home Recruitment was RGCF Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Carl Swansbury, CF Manager, Adam Tindale and CF Executive, Ben Kain.

Legal advice for the shareholders of Australasian Recruitment Company was provided by Newcastle-based Muckle LLP, led by Partner Matthew Walsh, Associate Solicitor Stephanie Brown, and Corporate Solicitor Olivia Tindle.

Legal advice for the shareholders of Home Recruitment in New Zealand was provided by Russell Weir, Corporate Lawyer at Auckland-based Simpson Western.

Accounts and tax advice was provided by Detlev Anderson, Director at Newcastle-based Kinnair Associates.

RSM Yorkshire’s deal team provided buy-side advice on the deal, led by corporate finance partner Steve Hubbard, with support from corporate finance associate director Jonny Bywater and associate Joe Holt. Translink provided buy-side financial due diligence, with legal advice from Irwin Mitchell and, in New Zealand, by Tompkins Wake.

Holly Finlayson, Director of Australasian Recruitment Company, said: “We look forward to working closely with Bluestones Investment Group and leveraging the Group’s extensive experience, infrastructure, and investment as we further scale our businesses”.

The outgoing majority shareholders, Jeremy Nicholls and Samantha Webster, said in a joint statement: “This is an exciting new chapter for Australasian Recruitment Company and Home Recruitment.  We are exceptionally proud of the niche we have carved ourselves in the market and we have built some truly fantastic relationships with clients and candidates. The vision that we had when we co-founded the companies, and have subsequently helped to deliver, is being realised by our exceptional team.”

Trish Stratford, Divisional CEO at Bluestones Investment Group, said: “Australasian Recruitment Company and Home Recruitment are ideal additions to our portfolio with strong synergies both in terms of sectors supported and the drive and ambition of the management teams.

“These acquisitions also provide the opportunity for Bluestones to enter a new territory, expanding our footprint internationally in a dynamic and growing market.  Our resources and experience will benefit clients and candidates in New Zealand and help to further scale Home Recruitment’s operations alongside activities in the UK-based business.”

Carl Swansbury, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance at RGCF, said: ““We are delighted to have advised the shareholders of ARC and Home on this transaction, alongside law firm, Muckle LLP.  We identified Bluestones as the ideal strategic partner for Home and ARC to help the existing senior management team build on the success they have achieved to date, whilst enabling the businesses to scale further as part of a very forward thinking, dynamic organisation.”

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