International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised Trust Tech, Inc., one of Japan’s largest listed recruitment companies, on the acquisition of the recruitment and training solutions provider, MTrec Limited. The £17m deal completed at the end of August. The acquisition marks Trust Tech’s first significant acquisition outside of Japan, and will help the company establish a presence in the UK and European markets.

The Osborne Clarke team that advised Trust Tech was led by corporate Partner Matthew Bodfield, who was assisted by Associate Matthew Stock. Partner Kevin Barrow provided recruitment industry specific advice on commercial, regulatory and compliance matters.

This is the fifth transaction that Osborne Clarke has advised on in the recruitment and contingent workforce sector over the last few months. Other recent highlights include:

  • acting for Phaidon International on its £18m transaction with Muzinich & Co;
  • the sale of a UK IT consultancy and staffing business to a New York based consulting firm;
  • Rethink Group’s acquisition of Digital Gurus; and
  • the first of a planned series of international joint ventures by MBO Partners (US market leaders in contractor compliance) with local payroll and compliance companies.

Matthew Bodfield comments: “The negotiations for the Trust Tech deal spanned the Brexit vote, and it was encouraging from an M&A perspective to see that deal close. I see it as further evidence that well-structured deals for good quality assets will still take place, even in less certain market conditions. We continue to see a good level of interest from both sellers and buyers for recruitment companies.”

Specialist workforce solutions Partner Kevin Barrow comments: “Tax changes and the Referendum vote have had an impact,but haven’t prevented deals being done. We are currently advising on four further large M&A deals in the sector which should complete this year. This all seems to be a vote of confidence in the recruitment industry and it is interesting that three of these recent deals involved investment by US or Japanese companies.”

The acquisitions by Trust Tech and Phaidon International were both shortlisted for ‘Deal of the Year’ at the 2016 RI Awards.

Osborne Clarke has a prominent workforce solutions practice, having acted on many of the leading corporate deals in the sector in recent years.

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