Recruitment guru Paul Atkinson buys Glasgow's Change

Recruitment industry veteran and serial angel investor Paul Atkinson has acquired Glasgow-based Change Recruitment for an undisclosed sum.

Paul Atkinson said his Head Group has an 'ambitious' business plan following the Change takeover. Picture: Contributed
Paul Atkinson said his Head Group has an 'ambitious' business plan following the Change takeover. Picture: Contributed

The deal will see all staff retained at Change as it becomes part of Atkinson’s Head Group, which also owns Head Resourcing, Head Medical and Atkinson MacLeod Executive Search.

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Combined turnover for the enlarged group will be in excess of £60 million. It will have more than 140 staff operating from offices across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds, serving clients in more than 15 countries.

In December, Change reported a 5.8 per cent rise in annual turnover to £18m, boosted by investment in core areas such as accountancy and finance, investment and risk, as well as IT and digital.

Atkinson, who assumes the role of group executive chairman following the takeover, said: “The recent formation of Atkinson McLeod together with our acquisition of Change, complement existing investments in Head Resourcing and Head Medical.

“Together, we are working on an ambitious business plan and by handpicking the best businesses to join us, we are targeting revenues of £100 million by 2020.”

Change managing director Mark McFall added: “We have spent the last few years as a private-equity owned company, getting the business into shape so that we could drive growth forward. As part of that, we have also restructured the team, securing some of the best consultants in our specialist fields.

“Joining the Head Group is an excellent cultural fit for our business. We share the same values of integrity, honesty and hard work, which can only benefit the Change team and our customers as we move into a new and exciting phase of growth.”

The deal comes after Brightwork Recruitment, based in Glasgow and Edinburgh, was acquired by listed rival Staffline.

Brightwork specialises in temporary and permanent jobs in the drinks, warehousing, manufacturing and distribution sectors.

Andy Hogarth, chief executive of Nottingham-based Staffline, said: “We have been increasing our capability in Scotland in recent years and this acquisition will accelerate the growth of both businesses as it provides scale, as well as greater geographic coverage and value-added services.”