Amberjack

DEALS: Amberjack

Amberjack logo

THE DEAL

  • Sector: Business Services
  • Deal type: Management Buy-Outs
  • Deal size: £17.6m
  • Year: 2019
  • Lead partner: Clive Hatchard

DEAL TEAM

Clive Hatchard Julia Carruthers Richard Boyden

Spectrum Corporate Finance has successfully advised the shareholders of recruitment technology specialist Amberjack on the management buy-out supported by mid-market private equity firm LDC.

Based in Newbury Berkshire, Amberjack provides its specialist services and software products to many of the UK’s largest employers, with a particular focus on Early Careers candidates - specifically graduates, school leavers and apprenticeship programmes. It uses proprietary cloud-based software tools to automate processes, manage application volumes and provide data driven insights to help assess and select candidates and also provide a professional experience to candidates. Its clients include major organisations such as Unilever, GSK, Mars, Network Rail, BP, Heathrow Airport, Virgin Media Liberty Global and members of the Big Four accountancy firms.

Spectrum were appointed by the shareholders to conduct a full sales process, which involved marketing the business to both private equity and potential trade acquirers, in the UK and overseas.

The shareholders were looking for a buyer who presented the best fit for the longstanding staff base, who understood Amberjacks values and culture and who could help accelerate the ambitious growth strategy of the management team.

Amberjack received global interest from numerous potential buyers, before agreeing the sale to LDC in Reading.

LDC invested £17.6million to support a management buy-out and accelerate the business’s growth strategy, including providing capital to support investment in the software and technology propositions and help the business to explore complementary acquisitions to broaden its service offering.

The MBO was led by Amberjack’s existing management team - Chief Executive Cynthia Bostock and Managing Directors Sophie Meaney and Cassie Sissons.

Following completion, LDC Investment Director Chris Baker, will be joining the board of Amberjack as Non-Executive Director alongside Alastair Weinel. Paul Bosson will also be joining the board as Non-Executive Chairman. Paul brings extensive experience to the Amberjack team, having held executive and non-executive roles in multiple private equity backed software and services businesses.

"Spectrum came highly recommended and our experience of working with them has borne out all that we had heard about their deep expertise and ability to achieve results. We were supported by a truly superb deal team, headed by Clive Hatchard, who in addition to being a skilled negotiator, proved a staunch supporter and trusted counsel. Richard Boyden’s day to day support was utterly invaluable and Julia’s expertise and calm capability was much appreciated. Our expectations were high, but Spectrum exceeded them. They offered truly first-class advice and support and we would not have wanted to go through the process with anyone else." Cynthia Bostock, Chief Executive at Amberjack
“Amberjack is a unique business which proved incredibly attractive to potential investors. The quality of its management team, the suite of technology products supporting its consultancy service together with an unparalleled list of blue-chip, global clients has enabled it to grow significantly in the last few years. The market it serves is large and defensible which provides for an exciting future with continued growth and client wins.” Clive Hatchard, Managing Director, Spectrum
“Amberjack offers a market-leading proposition that enables companies to be more sophisticated with their Early Careers and high volume recruitment campaigns and attract, identify and hire the best talent for their business. With Cynthia, Sophie and Cassie at the helm, it’s no surprise that the business is growing with increasing momentum and has built an enviable client list. We look forward to working with the team to continue to build on their exceptional achievements to date.” Chris Baker, Investment Director at LDC