Palatine backs growth at specialist recruiter Skills Alliance

NEWS RELEASE: Palatine has acquired a majority stake in Skills Alliance, a specialist niche workforce solutions provider for the life sciences, medical device, and animal health sectors.

Operating internationally with offices in London, Frankfurt, Zurich, New York, Seattle, and Newport Beach (CA), Skills Alliance, works on a retained basis for some of the largest pharmaceutical and biotech firms around the world.

With a team of 130, Skills Alliance was founded in 2004. It comprises three business units, SA Executive, SA Staffing & SA Consulting and is led by an experienced and ambitious management team including CEO Carl Marotta and Dan Shillingburg who leads the 35 —strong US operation.

The business has an annual net fee income of £15m, and has almost doubled in size in the last 12 months as it has leveraged its niche focus in the high growth verticals it specialises in.

Palatine’s investment team was Andy Strickland, Rupert Brown, and Carly Sinicrope with Partner support from Tony Dickin.

Andy Strickland, senior investment director at Palatine, said: “Skills Alliance is a great business, and we are delighted to be working with Carl and the team to accelerate its strong growth even further.

“During the investment process it was clear that we share a number of common values with them. Their commitment to people and ESG, particularly around promoting diversity and inclusion internally and for their clients, really standing out.

“Our strategic growth plan includes continuing to expand the consulting offering – which offers an outsourced recruitment and onboarding service of permanent and temporary staff – and accelerating their international roll-out particularly in North America and also in Europe.

“We will grow the team to support delivery and look at buy and build opportunities too.”

Palatine has significant experience in the Life Sciences sector. Skills Alliance is the third transaction in the last 18 months – its Impact Fund invested in tranScrip Partners in early 2021, and then completed the strategic acquisition of Real Regulatory for tranScrip this year.

Investment in global healthcare continues at pace and Palatine is confident Skills Alliance is well placed to support this growth as the sector seeks to meet society’s demand for new therapies and solutions to help us lead healthier lives.”

Carl Marotta, CEO of Skills Alliance said: The Skills Alliance leadership team is proud to be partnering with Palatine, together creating an exciting next chapter for both the organisation, and our remarkable colleagues who have demonstrated how passion and dedication can produce exceptional results. Palatine has invested in our business during a period of sustained growth, having exhibited throughout the process both their end sector knowledge and ability to create additional value.

“It was clear from the outset that we share the same people and culture values, specifically focusing on ESG as a core pillar around which we shape our behaviours and business decisions.

“Our vision has always been clear, by providing the very highest level of service, we can create a truly special business offering progressive career opportunities for our employees, and a best-in-class workforce solutions proposition for our clients and candidates. We look forward to the future and building on the Skills Alliance brand.

Skills Alliance was previously owned by its management team and a private investor who has now exited.

Palatine was advised by Clearwater (Corporate Finance), law firm Gateley. Financial due diligence was provided by Dow Schofield Watts, RSM provided tax advice, while Luth Associates provided operational due diligence, Fairgrove provided commercial due diligence, Panamoure provided IT diligence and Lockton insurance.

Press release issued by Influential on behalf of Palatine Private Equity.

For further information please contact: or call Peter Lappin or Chris Barry on 07935 500 397 / 07733 103693

About Palatine

Palatine is a UK mid-market private equity investor focused on delivering returns through sustainable growth by building on solid foundations with a commitment to the environment and society.

We see private equity as a force for good. A positivity born of generating returns in the right way.

Founded in 2005 by partners Gary Tipper, Ed Fazakerley and Tony Dickin, we have successfully raised four Buyout Funds and we are the first private equity firm in our market to raise a returns-focused Impact Fund which is led by Beth Houghton.

Our approach is built on three solid foundations: investing in relationships, identifying the appropriate value enhancement strategies and improving sustainability outcomes through our pioneering ESG framework.

We seek to partner with management teams across the business services, financial services, health, education and technology sectors and our impact themes of sustainable communities, healthy living, environment & resource and sustainable choices.

We invest from two funds:

Buyout Fund: Sustainable returns

Investing between £10–30m in dynamic and visionary management teams looking to drive their business through their next phase of sustainable growth.

Impact Fund: Returns with purpose

Investing £5m–20m in commercially driven businesses with a mission to positively impact on society or the environment.

We are headquartered in Manchester with offices in London and Birmingham.


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