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Rethink to snap up jobs firm Berkley in €7m deal

IRISH recruitment firm Berkley is being acquired by UK-based Rethink for almost €7m.

Berkley employs about 30 people between offices in Dublin, Cork and Singapore and was founded in 1995.

An initial payment of €2.65m will be paid, comprising €1.42m in cash and the remainder in shares.

A further €4.1m will be payable dependent on Berkley's financial performance this year. That consideration is payable as a mixture of cash, shares in Rethink, and also in preference shares.

Berkley specialises in recruitment solutions for sectors including pharmaceuticals, life sciences, technology and engineering.

In 2010, Berkley generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €479,000 and a pre-tax profit of €410,000.

Its turnover last year was €5.6m, while its audited net assets were €645,000.

Last year, Rethink's revenue rose 13pc to £56.4m and the company delivered a pre-tax profit of £920,000.

The company also operates in the Middle East and said it planned to open an office in Singapore before the end of this year.

Berkley's two directors and owners, Stephen Greenwood, from Co Kildare, and Fergal Brosnan, from Co Cork, will control 7.85pc of Rethink following the payment of the initial acquisition consideration. That holding will increase depending on the amount of deferred consideration that becomes payable.

Mr Greenwood and Mr Brosnan have also been made executive directors of Rethink.

Jon Butterfield, chief executive of Rethink, said the acquisition marked a "significant step" in the company's growth strategy, while Mr Greenwood said he was "extremely positive about the strategic fit and alignment with the Berkley brand".

Irish Independent