NES Global Talent

We identified Neil Tregarthen as a highly talented CEO with a credible vision to transform NES into a globally leading technical recruitment firm.

In 2006 Graphite led the £70 million MBO of NES Global Talent, a leading provider of specialist engineers to the global oil and gas, power and infrastructure industries. From its base in Manchester, the group achieved worldwide coverage through its network of 32 offices by the time of Graphite's exit. The company’s customer base comprises large blue-chip organisations, including all major oil companies and many large international engineering businesses.

The transaction offered us the opportunity to transform NES into a global business. The proportion of group earnings generated from overseas markets increased from 30 per cent in 2006 to 70 per cent at the time of exit, driven by a highly effective office roll-out strategy. The improvements made to the business model resulted in a material increase in recruiter productivity and the number of engineering contractor placements more than trebled in the six years to 2012.

Key Business Achievements

Opened 20 international offices

Increased its EBITDA by 190 per cent to £22.6 million

Grew net fee income 163 per cent to £57.3 million

Increased the number of recruiters from 154 to 234

More than trebled contractor placements to nearly 5,000

Trebled net fee income from permanent placements to £10 million

4.7 x

Return on Graphite's Investment

Business Exit

In 2012 NES was sold for £234m to AEA Investors, generating a money multiple of 4.7 times and an IRR of 30 per cent.