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Sweden – Poolia sells UK business and announces new CEO

03 February 2014

Swedish recruitment firm Poolia (POOLB: SS) announced the sale of its UK-based business to US recruitment firm Staffing 360 Solutions Ltd (STAF: US). The purchase price for the business is £500,000, plus an amount equal to the net asset value of the business at the date of completion.

The deal is dependent on the employee consultation process that is required, according to legal requirements in the UK, and will be completed on 28 February 2014. If the process is successfully completed, under the terms of the agreement all 17 current Poolia UK staff will be offered continued employment within Staffing 360.

Dag Sundstrӧm, outgoing interim CEO of Poolia AB, commented: “Poolia has been active in temporary staffing and permanent placement in the UK since 2004. Since the autumn of 2012 Poolia’s UK business has been in a turnaround process and is now on a positive development track under its current leadership. Given that Poolia has incurred large losses over several years and that a profitable business is still to be developed, Poolia has decided to concentrate on core business in the Swedish, Finnish, and German markets.”

“I am very pleased that we have found a natural home for Poolia’s UK business. In the UK, Poolia has built a strong reputation as a Finance and Accountancy specialist, which will complement the current specialist markets operated by Staffing 360 Solutions under the Longbridge brand,” he added.      

Tim Hedger, Managing Director of Poolia UK, stated: “We are thrilled with the opportunity to join the Staffing 360 Solutions team. The timing and our long-held vision of becoming a leading staffing firm in UK matches well with Staffing 360’s expertise in the field of permanent placement and temporary staffing across both the US and UK. We also look forward to leveraging Staffing 360’s capital markets expertise, which has allowed them to grow through acquisitions so rapidly.”

Brendan Flood, Executive Chairman of Staffing 360 Solutions, added: “We are pleased to report yet another acquisition for Staffing 360 Solutions since the start of 2014. Poolia adds additional size and services to our existing operations in Europe. It’s a great addition to Staffing 360’s recent Initio acquisition and complements our Longbridge Recruitment operations in the UK.”

Poolia also announced today that Morten Werner assumed the position of Managing Director and CEO of Poolia. Werner is described as having experience in several organisations including being Managing Director for listed health and wellness company, Feelgood, for three years and more recently having been Managing Director of Hasselfors Garden AB, an international fertiliser producer. He has a BS in Business Administration from California State University and a MBA from the University of Southern California.

On taking up his new role, he said “I look forward to take on Poolia and using all my experience and energy to rejuvenate Poolia.  Poolia has a very strong brand and will retake its former position as the best specialist company within temporary staffing and permanent placement in the white collar segment in Sweden. An important goal is to be the company that attracts the best staff”.

Commenting on the new appointment, Björn Örås, Chairman of the Board said, “Poolia stands in front of changes and prepares to invest in its core business, temporary staffing and permanent placement within the white collar segment. To be able to lead the company in this direction a proven and skilled manager is needed and we have found that person in Morten Werner. We are convinced that Morten will reinstate both profitability and growth. Morten will also buy 400,000 shares in the company which is very positive”.

In trading today, Poolia’s share price remained unchanged at SEK 11.75 (€1.33), an increase of +4.9% compared with a year ago. Based on its current share price, the company has a market value of SEK 201.2 million (€22.8 million). 

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