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Equistone buys £140m stake in technical recruiter Fircroft

21 Jun 2012

Equistone has bought a significant stake in recruitment firm Fircroft Engineering Services for £140m, marking the mid-market buyout firm’s third acquisition since spinning out from British banking giant Barclays late last year.

Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Warrington, England, Fircroft provides global recruitment services to specialist technical industries, in particular oil and gas, energy and automotive, and has a presence in 25 countries.

The company’s clients include BP, Chevron, Shell, Exxon, British Gas and Bentley. Current year turnover is expected to exceed £650m.

Equistone said it could help the company to expand through future acquisitions in existing or additional sectors, geographies and services. The exact size of the stake was not disclosed.

The firm was advised on the deal by DC Advisory Partners. Fircroft was advised by Altium.

The purchase is Equistone’s third since spinning out from Barclays last year, following its investment in March in bespoke luxury holiday company Audley Travel. and last month’s investment in German manufacturer Winkemann.

Equistone is also in the process of selling Hydrasun, a Scottish company that makes industrial hoses and other parts for the oil and gas industry, in a deal that is expected to fetch more than £100m, a person familiar with the matter told AltAssets yesterday.

The firm has recently been busy selling off assets to tempt investors into committing to its fourth fund, which is due to close with €1.5bn of commitments by the end of this summer, sources said in March.

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