By Kyrus Keenan Wescott
Experienced global investor acquires leading staffing and recruiting business focused on the enterprise software market.
TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, today announced the closing of its acquisition of Frank Recruitment Group (“FRG”), a global staffing and recruiting business focused exclusively on the enterprise software market. TPG Growth acquired a majority stake in FRG from its founders and UK-based mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge. Livingbridge invested in the Company in 2013 to help it continue to diversify and expand globally.
“We are immensely proud to partner with TPG Growth. They have a history of anticipating trends in technology and investing in some of the most innovative and transformative companies in the world,” said James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO of FRG. “Their leadership and foresight in the space will be crucial as we target new segments of the cloud technology market, launch new brands, strengthen our existing ones, and grow from a 700- to 2,000-person recruitment business.”
FRG is a leading niche recruitment firm for IT professionals who specialize in enterprise software. The Company has built a unique service model that divides its business into units, or “brands,” that are each dedicated to a single technology product. In 2007, FRG launched its original brand, Nigel Frank, to focus solely on recruiting Microsoft Dynamics IT professionals. Shortly thereafter, FRG launched its second core brand, Mason Frank, to deliver qualified Salesforce professionals to Salesforce channel partners and customers.
“In less than 10 years, Frank Recruitment Group has been able to successfully establish itself in several markets and become the go-to global provider for talent in the cloud technology field,” said Ransom Langford, Partner at TPG Growth. “Its niche focus and impressive growth have given the Company unparalleled expertise and insights into the industry’s personnel needs that are unique and highly sought after.”
In 2014, the Company launched two additional high-growth brands: Churchill Frank, which focuses on big data, and Washington Frank, FRG’s incubator brand, which specializes in staffing opportunities in emerging cloud technologies.
“FRG is a people-centric business,” said Co-Founder and CFO Nigel O’Donoghue. “We provide our employees with world-class training, fast-track career progression, and financial opportunities through employee ownership.”
“As leading investors in technology, we’ve witnessed firsthand the significant need for IT professionals who have a deep understanding of enterprise software. Businesses are aware of this need, but getting the right talent has proven to be difficult,” said Shamik Patel, Principal at TPG Growth. “FRG bridges this gap globally, in a highly specialized and strategic way. It’s the best-in-class solution.”
Co-Founder Sean Wadsworth, who is moving into a non-executive position but will continue to serve on the Board, commented, “When Nigel and I launched FRG in 2007, we set out on a 10-year plan to build a global recruitment business. Today has been another milestone in that journey, and I’d like to thank all the staff who worked so hard to get us to this point.”
Xavier Woodward at Livingbridge said, “Since our investment, FRG has continued its global expansion – launching two new high-growth brands in Churchill Frank and Washington Frank as well as significantly growing revenue, profit, and headcount. We have thoroughly enjoyed helping the business develop and look forward to watching its continued progress.”
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP acted as a legal advisor to TPG Growth in the transaction and HSBC provided debt financing. Travers Smith and Ward Hadaway acted as legal advisors to FRG in the transaction and Rothschild provided sell-side advisory services.
About TPG Growth
TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm. With over $7 billion of assets under management, TPG Growth targets investments in a broad range of industries and geographies. TPG Growth has the deep sector knowledge, operational resources, and global experience to drive value creation, and help companies reach their full potential. The firm is backed by the resources of TPG, which has approximately $70 billion of assets under management. TPG Growth’s current and past investments include Airbnb, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Petbarn, NorthStar Anesthesia, Novolex, Schiff Nutrition, SuccessFactors, SurveyMonkey, and Uber. TPG Growth has offices in the United States, China, India, Turkey, London and Singapore. For more information, visit www.tpggrowth.com.
About Frank Recruitment Group
Frank Recruitment Group was founded in Newcastle, UK in 2007 and is a leading global niche IT recruitment business that employs more than 700 people across its hub offices in London, Melbourne, New York, Newcastle, San Francisco, and Singapore. The group operates four trading brands that each focus on a specific technology product. Nigel Frank was established in 2007 and focuses on recruiting Microsoft Dynamics professionals. Its second core brand, Mason Frank, places Salesforce professionals and was launched in 2010. In 2014, the Company launched two additional brands: Churchill Frank, which focuses on SAS and other Business Intelligence and Big Data solutions; and Washington Frank, FRG’s incubator brand, which specializes in staffing opportunities in emerging cloud technologies. FRG plans to expand its outreach globally and attract more trainee recruiters in strategic hubs to continue to meet demand for the Company’s services. For more information, visit www.frankgroup.com.
Livingbridge is a mid-market private equity firm with UK offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester and an Australian office in Melbourne. Livingbridge applies a research-led, sector-focused approach to investment in unquoted companies in the UK and across Europe. Its core areas of interest are: Business Services; Financial Services; Consumer Markets; Healthcare & Education; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; Energy & Environmental. Livingbridge typically invests in transactions where the transaction size is between £5m and £100m in value, in companies with profits in excess of £1m (typical Livingbridge investment between £2m and £40m) and invests on behalf of both institutional and retail investors (Livingbridge 5, Livingbridge Enterprise 2 and the three Baronsmead VCTs). As at December 2015, Livingbridge has funds under management of £1.5bn.
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