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UK – Interquest acquires ECOM Recruitment

27 November 2013

Specialist IT staffing firm InterQuest Group (ITQ: AIM) announced that they have acquired digital technology recruiter ECOM Recruitment Ltd. for a total consideration of £7.04 million. InterQuest will pay an initial consideration of £3.54 million, comprising £3.04 million in cash and £500,000 through 558,659 new InterQuest shares to be issued upon completion.

A further deferred consideration of £2.16 million is payable by way of a loan note with a +3% coupon of which £500,000 is payable in May 2014 and £1.66 million in December 2014. A final payment of up to £1.34 million is contingent on the business achieving £1.34 million in EBIT in the year to 31 October 2014.

The 558,659 new InterQuest shares are being issued to the vendors of ECOM at a price of 89.5 pence per share. Application will be made to the London Stock Exchange for these shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that dealings will commence on 3 December 2013.

In a statement, InterQuest advised that: “2013, so far, has been an excellent year for InterQuest, especially within the UK markets in which we operate. The board has been encouraged by the performance in the UK where the benefits of a focused approach are clearly being seen. Our business in Singapore has continued to experience difficulties and its contribution was not what the board expected. However, given the very pleasing performance in the UK, trading for the Group is in line with management’s expectations and the targeted acquisition of ECOM, along with the associated cross marketing opportunities it will provide across the Group, gives us a strong platform for growth in 2014.”

Gary Ashworth, Executive Chairman of InterQuest, commented: "We are delighted to have the talented team at ECOM on board. Not only are they the recognized market leader in digital recruitment they are a great operational and cultural fit too and I can see significant incremental benefits to the group."

Mark Braund, Chief Executive noted: "This acquisition drives at the heart of what we do. The addition of ECOM to our stable of niche and specialist recruitment businesses will help InterQuest rapidly answer the challenges faced by our most important clients planning or working on digital-based projects."

Following the acquisition announcement, InterQuest’s share price unexpectedly fell by -3.7% to £0.93, an increase of +94% compared with a year ago. Based on its share price, the company has a current market value of £32.15 million.

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