Jark expands to create £105m recruitment group

Norfolk-based Jark Recruitment has become one of the biggest businesses in its sector after buying a majority stake in the Aptus Group.

Dereham-headquartered Jark was advised by a corporate team from law firm Mills & Reeve during its negotiations with Aptus, which is based in Leicester. 

Jark was already set to achieve increased turnover of £63 million in 2007-08, but the combined group boasts turnover of £105 million – placing it in the top 40 of the UK's 13,500 recruitment businesses. 

The Mills & Reeve team advising Jark was led by Norwich-based corporate partner James Hunter, assisted by senior solicitor and employment law specialist Tom Wagstaff, and by solicitors Christopher Perfect and Matthew Short

Jark chairman John Buckman founded the company with Preston Andrews in 1996, since when it has grown into a 47-branch network covering most of the country. 

"With Aptus joining the group this moves Jark into a new league, enhancing our capability in dealing with larger and national contracts, as well as remaining local through our branch network which now has a broader base covering the UK and into Europe," said Mr Buckman. 

"Jark is already a major player in the industrial, construction and healthcare sectors. Aptus will add strength to these, but the acquisition also brings Jark critical mass in other sectors, including public sector and driving, as well as inroads into other sectors in catering and retail, and small specialist fields where we currently have no representation." 

The three owner directors of Aptus – Phill McTaggart, Steve Gray and Gary Wiley – who bought the business in 2001, were advised by a team from the Leicester office of law firm Howes Percival. All three will remain within the group. 

The enlarged group will employ more than 360 people, and at its annual conference in May will outline its ambition to become a top-10 player within the recruitment market. 

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