Penna Consulting

Penna Logo (300dpi)

Acquired by Adecco for £105.3m

On 9 March 2016 Adecco and Penna announced that they had reached agreement on a recommended cash offer for Penna, the UK AIM-listed specialist HR consultancy. Adecco, the European large volume recruiter acquired the business as part of its strategy to add higher margin HR services. We believe Adecco was also attracted to Penna’s skills and unrivalled client list within the UK security and policing segments of the market.

Penna was established in 1973 to offer outplacement services in the UK, helping those affected by redundancy to find new employment or plan for retirement in an increasingly changing economy. Fast forward 40 years and Penna is the leading provider of outplacement services and is continuing to build the outplacement business and is one of the beneficiaries of the ever-increasing changing employment landscape.

Penna operates three divisions: Resourcing (46% of fees), Career Services (42% of fees) and Talent Services (12% of fees). The Resourcing segment helps clients promote their brand to prospective recruits (e.g. graduate trainees) and helps corporates (in both the private and public sectors) manage their recruitment processes. The majority of Career Services net revenues relate to outplacement projects. Working across all levels of an organisation, Penna provides support, guidance, coaching and advice to individuals who are affected by redundancy. The Talent Services division provides a range of development programmes to help employers and employees improve performance and enhance careers. Services are typically provided by Penna’s employed consultants, augmented with expert free-lance associates, providing a range of bespoke and off-the-shelf packages. Penna had made a number of acquisitions over the years including the recruitment focused communications agency Barkers in 2009 and Savile Group in 2013. In recent years the Company’s strategy really picked up steam with a resultant 440% increase in its share price since 2012 culminating in the sale of the Company to Adecco.

The total consideration payable by Adecco was approximately £105m. We estimate the deal represented an EV/EBITDA of 12.4x (March 2016), based on Panmure Gordon forecasts.

Panmure Gordon Role: Panmure Gordon acted as Rule 3 adviser, nominated adviser and corporate broker.