London, 24 January 2022: Soho Square Capital LLP (“Soho Square”), an investment firm focused on serving the financing needs of established and growing UK and European SMEs, announces today it has invested in and partnered with the rapidly growing international recruitment and consulting provider, Oliver James.
The deal sees Soho Square take a minority stake in Oliver James with David Steel, Director at Soho Square, joining the Board of Directors.
Today’s investment will enable the management team of Oliver James to accelerate their ambitious international expansion plans, with support and expertise from the Soho Square team who have considerable experience in working with fast-growing businesses.
Oliver James was founded in Manchester by Oliver Castle and James Rogers in 2002 and is now a multi-award-winning recruitment and consulting specialist with 14 offices globally, focusing on both permanent and contract recruitment in specialist verticals. Since its inception, Oliver James has experienced tremendous organic growth which has been driven by its sophisticated tech-enabled operating model, knowledge of specialist markets, and focus on staff development and retention.
Co-CEOs James Rogers and Oliver Castle will remain majority equity shareholders.
This is the sixth transaction completed from Soho Square’s latest institutional fund, following investment in alternative fibre network Netomnia. Soho Square recently fully exited its investment in Oslo Product Tankers and is seeking further new investments.
Oliver Castle, Co-CEO Oliver James, commented:
“We are immensely proud to partner with Soho Square. In 20 years, we have achieved an international presence with a globally recognised brand. While the operational structure of the business will remain the same, this investment will allow us to achieve our ambitious growth plans of trebling the size of the business over the next 5 years and will enable us to accelerate our professionalisation at scale, increase our service lines, and take our high-quality services to wider markets and geographies. It is a very exciting time for the business, and we look forward to expanding our offering to businesses and job seekers across the world.”
James Rogers, Co-CEO Oliver James, added:
“It was imperative we found an investment partner that fully understood the intricacies and culture of Oliver James. As a people-centric business, culture is at our core and it is the people that have enabled us to achieve what we have to date. The investment from Soho Square will allow us to further invest in the technology and training provided to everyone at Oliver James. For them, this marks an exciting time and will ensure that we continue to provide a great platform for people to develop their careers and deliver a market-leading service.”
David Steel, Director, Soho Square, commented:
“With a turnover of £220 million, Oliver James is growing at an impressive above-market rate and is a very successful business led by an ambitious and experienced team. We were particularly attracted to their bespoke supporting systems and operations that were developed in-house and put in place to enable the firm’s rapid growth and development of their deep sector knowledge within focused verticals. We are excited to be backing and working with this forward-thinking team and to be investing in a high growth and resilient business that continues to grow market share. Our investment in Oliver James, which sits senior in the capital structure, is typical of the type of investment that Soho Square is pursuing in the UK and northern European markets.”
Soho Square’s deal team was led by David Steel (Director) and Joe Tebbutt (Principal). Soho Square’s legal advisor was K&L Gates (James Cross). Grant Thornton provided buy-side financial advice to Soho Square (Keeley Woodley) in addition to commercial and tax due diligence (Andrew Hawkins and Lucy Orhnial). Deloitte Corporate Finance (Oliver Tebbutt) advised Oliver James on the transaction and identified Soho Square early on as a strong investor partner for the Company. Gateley PLC also provided Oliver James with legal counsel throughout the transaction.
For further information
+44 (0)7775 996133
If you would like to discuss future investment opportunities, please contact:
+44 (0)79714 75582
Charlotte Balbirnie Caroline Villiers
+44 (0)7989 528421 +44 (0)7808 585184
About Soho Square Capital
Soho Square Capital is an investment firm focused on providing flexible capital solutions, typically in the form of senior or preferred capital with minority equity stakes, to established and growing UK and European SMEs. Headquartered in London, the firm is led by a highly experienced team that has been investing together for over 15 years, through many economic cycles and have the expertise and flexibility to invest up to £40 million in any given transaction, across the capital structure, from senior debt to equity. The team works closely with business owners and management teams to structure innovative, bespoke financing solutions and offer enhanced portfolio company support.
About Oliver James:
With a worldwide presence, Oliver James specialises in recruitment and consulting services and has grown organically, with 600 employees now operating out of 14 offices across the UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the U.S., with a turnover of £220.5 million. To discover more, visit: www.oliverjames.com