TopSource and PEO Worldwide

DEALS: TopSource and PEO Worldwide

TopSource and PEO Worldwide logo


  • Sector: Business Services
  • Deal type: Debt Advisory
  • Deal size: Undisclosed
  • Year: 2021
  • Lead partner: Ian Milne


Ian Milne Julie Lada Scott Archer Simon Sherliker

Spectrum Corporate Finance has successfully advised Horizon Capital on a debt raise through Dunport Capital Management to launch a new Global Employment Solutions buy and build platform commencing with the simultaneous acquisitions of TopSource and PEO Worldwide.

TopSource provides end-to-end payroll services in the UK, India and Ireland as well as a cloud and mobile HR solution under the Portico brand. TopSource also provides a range of ancillary services such as outsourced accounting, BACS processing and other HR-related services.

PEO Worldwide is an Employer of Record (“EoR”) and outsourced HR solutions business. With a UK head office in Birmingham and a further nine international office across Europe, Canada and Singapore, PEO Worldwide offers HR, payroll, legal and employee benefits support for customers looking to launch into overseas territories in a fully compliant and cost-effective way.

The combination creates a high growth employment solutions group with contracted revenue, 900+ clients and global service delivery capability. The new group provides customers with an end-to-end solution in international outsourced payroll, EoR and HR management, which are fast growing and fragmented markets.

Horizon Capital plans to take advantage of the attractive market dynamics to accelerate strong organic growth through investment in sales, geographic expansion, and software. Significant follow on capital has been ringfenced to support an intensive acquisition strategy with several potential acquisition targets already in the near-term pipeline.

The Spectrum Debt Advisory team were engaged by Horizon Capital to take them through the process of raising funds to support the acquisition of TopSource and PEO Worldwide and additional facilities to fund the ongoing acquisition strategy of the group. This involved presenting to potential lenders, deal structuring, securing credit approvals, negotiation of terms and handling all the banking legal documentation.

The founders of both TopSource and PEO will remain with the business and have reinvested alongside Horizon Capital. Guil Hastings (co-founder of TopSource) will become Group CEO and Paul Sleath (co-founder of PEO) will become Global Head of EoR. They are joined by Chairman Martin Smith who was former CEO of compliance group Alcumus and CFO Nick Wain who joins the new business from Zellis, a global HR and payroll provider.

“In creating a new employment compliance group through the acquisition of TopSource and PEO, we are backing a highly talented team in a high growth market and look forward to supporting them in further acquisitions as we scale the business into a market leader. Our thanks go to the Spectrum debt advisory team, whose knowledge of the debt market, consistent advice and hard work helped us secure the debt facilities with Dunport Capital Management and ensure a seamless and smooth transaction. We have an excellent relationship with the Spectrum team and were entirely confident that their attention to detail and dedicated support meant the banking was in safe hands.” Tom Maizels, Director, Horizon Capital
“This is an exciting opportunity for PEO to combine with a high quality business in the employment solutions sector. By combining our skills and knowledge we can expand our premium service capabilities and launch into new markets.” Paul Sleath, PEO Co-founder
“Combining TopSource and PEO will allow us, over the next three years, to accelerate organic growth through an enhanced go to market offering and geographic reach as well as driving consolidation in a fragmented and high growth market through acquisitions.” Guil Hastings, the new group CEO and TopSource co-founder
“We have formed an effective debt advisory relationship with Horizon Capital in recent years and we’re delighted to assist them again in bringing together this exciting new opportunity. The deal wasn’t straightforward given the simultaneous acquisition of two businesses to form the buy-and-build platform and the wide geographic spread of the group’s combined operations. But working closely with both Horizon and the team at Dunport we were able to craft a debt funding solution that met both the day one requirement as well as providing a runway for further acquisition growth.” Ian Milne, Managing Director and Head of Debt Advisory at Spectrum Corporate Finance