HR on acquisition radar
A new study by industry analysts Plimsoll Publishing suggests that the current economic downturn represents one of the biggest opportunities in a generation, if you have the courage and the capital.
The study has rated each of the UK’s leading 300 HR Consulting companies on their acquisition attractiveness. It found that 23 companies are ‘ripe for the picking’ based on a combined scoring system, incorporating overall financial strength, ownership, valuation and future potential. These 23 companies are all privately owned, yet are showing a serious deterioration in the financial performance. Given the reluctance of the banks to lend more, their time, money and options are running out.
David Pattison, Senior Analyst at Plimsoll, explains the results: “What we have indentified here is a group of ‘wounded animals’.
Many of these businesses have a long and distinguished history, yet their recent performance has deteriorated. By definition these are classic acquisitions. Anyone looking to grow their own company through acquisition should be looking for businesses that are currently undervalued yet, with help, can be turned around.” However, as Pattison points out, it will not be easy: “Many will need rapid and deep cost cutting to get them back on a firm financial footing. We could see as many as 1250 jobs go over the next 12 to 24 months as these companies shrink to ensure their survival.”
Yet despite this dour prediction Pattison sees a massive opportunity in the UK HR consulting market. “The current market conditions have presented an unprecedented set of opportunities to buy into a business that even a year ago would have been unaffordable. We know of at least 174 companies within the industry, who have the cash to spend and could aid these 23 ailing businesses and ensure their survival.”
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