Local recruitment company sold

By Anita Jaynes on 23 April, 2015

Leading commercial law firm Thrings and corporate finance specialists Watersheds have successfully completed the sale of independent recruitment agency Mainline Employment to First Personnel Group.

Mainline Employment is currently one of the leading independent recruitment agencies in the South West. It employs more than 40 staff across two branches in Bristol and one in Swindon.

The transaction was led by Watersheds’ Swindon-based partner Jessica Painter, while Thrings senior corporate partner, John Davies, and associate solicitor, Simon Hore, worked with the firm’s commercial property, commercial and employment teams to provide strategic and legal advice to Mainline Employment owner, Stella Weeks.

Stella, who formed Mainline Employment in 1990, was introduced to Watersheds by her Natwest bank manager to take advice on finding an appropriate buyer and structuring a deal that was capable of completing without disrupting the business.

The completion of the transaction for an undisclosed sum will enable Mainline Employment to continue expanding its service offering to regional clients in the commercial, office, industrial and transport sectors while securing an exciting future for its staff.

Jessica Painter said: “It was essential for Stella to find a buyer which shared Mainline Employment’s ethics and ethos to ensure the organisation’s excellent customer service levels and the environment and prospects for staff were maintained.

“We introduced Stella to First Personnel Group after recognising a number of similar traits between the two businesses and their respective owners. The acquisition is a significant development for both organisations and their portfolio of clients, and we wish all parties every success in the future.”

Simon Hore said: “It became very clear throughout the transaction just how much Mainline Employment and its staff mean to Stella. As such we were delighted to have worked closely with Watersheds to conclude a deal which will allow Stella to remain involved with the business while taking a well-deserved step back from day-to-day duties.

“In addition to signalling the start of a bright new era for its own teams of experienced consultants, the acquisition is great news for Mainline Employment’s clients and the hundreds of candidates it places in temporary and permanent roles each year.”

Stella, who will continue as a consultant to the business, said: “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Watersheds and Thrings treated it as such. Both teams offered clear and concise advice, demonstrated great commercial awareness, negotiated calmly and effectively, and provided first-class project management to ensure the business realised its true market value.

“To have found a buyer that believes in our family values was also extremely important, as well as one whose corporate disciplines will allow Mainline Employment to continue to grow in the future.”

Headquartered in Walsall and with 17 branches across the Midlands, the north of England and Scotland, First Personnel Group is a £70 million turnover employment agency which placed more than 150,000 workers last year.

Pictured above from left to right:  Simon Hore (Thrings), Stella Weeks (Mainline Employment), Jessica Painter (Watersheds) and John Davies (Thrings).