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New Director Boosts Specialist People Services Acquisition Drive


Private equity-backed diversified recruitment group Specialist People Services (SPS) has hired an M&A director as it targets new acquisition opportunities.

The Yorkshire-based business, which is backed by LDC, has appointed Neil McManus from Victoria Plum, the TPG Capital backed online bathroom retailer.

McManus has ten years’ experience in corporate finance, including seven years at KPMG and, prior to that, at Barclays Capital in the City.

His role at SPS will see him work closely with chief executive Chris Chidley as the group seeks to identify and acquire complementary businesses in niche recruitment and business support services both in the UK and overseas.

Chris Chidley said:

“Thanks to our financial strength, along with the continued backing of LDC and our lenders, we are well-placed to make further strategic acquisitions as and when we identify them.

“With his experience of leading acquisitions, from origination to completion and integration, as both an adviser and in industry, Neil is the perfect person to work with me as we seek to acquire businesses which will add value to the SPS group.

“Our focus on providing outstanding recruitment services in regulated, hard-to-serve sectors has helped us carve out an enviable position in the market. Neil’s appointment further strengthens our senior team and will help us continue to deliver both organic and acquisitive growth in the future.”

SPS acquired rail services group ISS Labour in 2013. It has since grown to become one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist labour for the overhead electrification of Britain’s rail network.

McManus joins SPS’s senior management team alongside Paul McNulty, who was appointed group finance director last month.

Neil McManus added:

“SPS is a unique company with a clear proposition and the ambition to drive future growth through a combination of organic revenue streams and strategic acquisitions. I’m excited by the prospect of using my experience in M&A to play a part in building SPS into a truly formidable business.”

Among the recruitment services brands in the SPS group are Driver Hire Nationwide, which provides temporary labour to the transport and logistics sectors; Driver Hire Training; eServices, which offers online people management services; Driver Hire Australia; and ISS Labour.

In the year to the end of March 2015, SPS recorded group turnover of £116.5m, up 32% year-on-year.

Specialist People Services