Bristol recruitment agency acquired out of administration


Recruitment consultancy Heat Recruitment has been acquired in a pre-pack deal by Smart Solutions Group to give the Welsh business its first presence in the Manchester market and to expand into Bristol.

Administrators from Leonard Curtis accepted a proposal from a newly formed company owned by Welsh recruitment group Smart Solutions for £125,000 to allow the business to trade under its existing brand name with its 10-strong team continuing to operate from its office at Arkwright House, Parsonage Gardens in Manchester city centre supplying permanent and contract staff.

Heat Recruitment, with operations in Bristol and Manchester, suffered during the pandemic and built up debts to HMRC of £900,000, took out government loans and owed £376,611 as part of an invoice discounting arrangement with Ultimate Finance. The business made losses of £468,000 in 2022 despite a top line sales recovery to £8.4m after income dropped to £3.5m in 2020 and £5.6m in 2021.

The buyer, Smart Solutions Group, was founded in 2007 and claims it is on course to make £12om of sales in the latest financial year. In 2022 it made pre-tax profits of £213,694.

Across the last 18 years, Heat Recruitment has supplied permanent and contract staff to businesses within the professional services and digital sectors, securing its position as a leading specialist recruitment company in the South

Heat Recruitment will continue to operate under its original brand and name as its own separate entity, servicing all its existing clients and individuals, with the ongoing benefit of the corporate backing of Smart Solutions, one of the UK’s leading recruitment agency groups for temporary recruitment.#

With an 50-strong team currently working within the business, the investment from Smart Solutions will support Heat Recruitment’s ambition to build the team further, aiming to double it in size across the next two years and bringing more jobs to the region.

Steve Preston, chief executive of Heat Recruitment, commented: “I am thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of Heat Recruitment into the Smart Solutions Group. This strategic move marks a significant milestone in our journey. The integration of Heat Recruitment not only strengthens our position in the market but also opens up new avenues of opportunity for both professional development and business expansion.

“We believe that this collaboration will not only enhance our capabilities but also foster a dynamic environment for innovation and success. The diverse skills and expertise brought together by this move will undoubtedly drive our collective achievements to new heights.  I am truly excited about the prospects that lie ahead. This venture has set the stage for a robust and thriving organisation, and we look forward to continuing this journey together.

“A big thank you to all those who have been involved, the commitment, loyalty, hard work, and dedication throughout this process have made this happen, and together, we are poised for a future filled with growth, prosperity, and continued excellence.”

Rob Webb, chief executive of Smart Solutions, added: “The acquisition of Heat Recruitment into our Group is extremely exciting for all those involved, as it presents a fantastic opportunity to diversify our portfolio and accelerate our services into a period of sustainable growth. What initially interested us in conversations with Heat Recruitment was their specialism in professional services, and it is essential that we retain the brand, identity, and expertise offered by the company.

“The integration of our companies allows for a collaborative pool of resources, by coupling the professional services offered by Heat and utilizing the expansive back-office functions within the Smart Solutions Group. This move gives Heat Recruitment the platform to be able to take 18 years’ worth of diligence to the next level with the corporate backing of a £100+ million turnover group of companies.

“It also allows for the geographical expansion of the Smart Solutions Group with offices based in both Bristol and Manchester, coupled with a heavy corporate presence across UK cities such as London. The integration of our companies into a wider family is part of a strategic vision that goes beyond financial investments and focuses on the development of our people and its services.”

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