Recruitment entrepreneurset to make £16.5m after selling out

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The Independent Online

A 43-year-old recruitment consultant stands to make up to £16.5m after agreeing to sell the company he founded 20 years ago to Public Recruitment Group, which specialises in the public sector.

A 43-year-old recruitment consultant stands to make up to £16.5m after agreeing to sell the company he founded 20 years ago to Public Recruitment Group, which specialises in the public sector.

Paul Godfrey, who set up London-based Action First Recruitment Consultants in 1984, will receive his windfall as a mixture of cash and shares. PRG is paying an initial £11.3m, with £5.2m to follow in 2006 if Mr Godfrey's company hits its profit targets.

Mr Godfrey, the managing director, has agreed to stay on for the next 12 months to help integrate the business, which supplies social workers across the South, into PRG. His company, which employs 24 people, made profits of £1.4m last year on sales of £14.5m.

Yesterday's deal was PRG's third since it listed on the stock market in April, with a total value of £25m. It is seeking to be the country's biggest supplier of temporary jobs for doctors, teachers and social workers.

Andrew Goodman, the chief executive, said: "PRG now provides public sector professionals to three niche areas - education, health care and social care - and is swiftly delivering on its clear strategy as outlined to investors at the time of the flotation and becoming a leading consolidator in the marketplace."

Darren McLaney, the finance director, said the company would probably tap investors for more money to finance its acquisition plans in the autumn. "Diluting shareholders won't be a problem because the deals are all earnings enhancing," he said, adding: "The level of deal-flow is increasing as more and more people come to us."

The company did not need to buy growth because its seven businesses were growing organically by between 20 and 1,100 per cent per annum, Mr McLaney said.

"Will we stop at this deal? No, absolutely not," he added.

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