Aurelius acquires Working Links

29.06.2016

Aurelius acquires Working Links

  • Leading provider of employability and rehabilitation services
  • Operations in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, and the Middle East
  • Annual revenues of around €160m in 2015
  • Already three acquisitions in the second quarter of 2016
  • No negative effects expected due to Brexit

Munich/London, 29 June 2016 – Aurelius  (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8), the pan-European, mid-market investor, today announces the acquisition of Working Links, a leading provider of welfare and rehabilitation services with operations in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, and the Middle East, for an undisclosed sum.

Working Links delivers employability and rehabilitation services across three markets:

UK employability services, where Working Links improves lives through employment, training, and skills development. Example contracts are the three ‘Work Programme’ contracts in Scotland, Wales, and South West England that support long-term unemployed people in returning to the labour market, and five ‘Work Choice’ contracts to provide disabled people with assistance in finding work, for the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

UK rehabilitation services that reduce reoffending and protect the public. Here, Working Links runs three long-term ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ contracts in South West England and Wales for the UK Government’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to support rehabilitation reform and lower recidivism rates among low- and medium-risk ex-offenders.

International specialist services that support people around the world. This includes four employability contracts for domestic workers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and also delivery of Job Path, the Irish Government’s flagship programme to support long-term unemployed people back to work in six regions of the Republic of Ireland. This contract with the Irish Department for Social Protection (DSP) is delivered by Working Links in a 50-50 joint venture with FRS Recruitment Services, the Irish national recruitment agency with 35 years of experience in providing careers advice.

In the financial year ended September 2015, Working Links recorded revenues of £122M.

Commenting on the acquisition, Dirk Markus, CEO of Aurelius, said: “The timing of this investment may seem surprising to some audiences directly following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. However, Aurelius has always sought investment in complex situations, including turbulent macroeconomic backdrops which often create interesting investment opportunities that fit with our investment model. We do not expect detrimental consequences for Working Links due to Great Britain’s upcoming exit from the EU, nor do we expect consequences from Brexit to negatively affect the Aurelius Group.”

Tristan Nagler, Managing Director of Aurelius in the UK, said: “We are confident that, by providing Working Links with the operational and financial backing required to continue its growth, Aurelius can maintain the high standards required for Working Links to deliver on its government contracts and thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace. Having invested in Allied Healthcare last year, our team has experience in supporting a company which has been contracted by the UK government to provide critical services to vulnerable people, this time in the areas of employability and rehabilitation. We remain on the look-out for other companies that would benefit from the long-term support at which Aurelius excels."

“Working Links is a highly esteemed and successful business and we are delighted to be in a position to take it to the next stage of its development. Aurelius’ investment will provide the financial and operational support necessary to roll out planned improvements internally. These changes will guarantee continuity in Working Links’ high-quality services and position the current management team, with whom Aurelius will work closely, for ever greater commercial success in the future.”

Phil Andrew, Chief Executive of Working Links, commented: “Today marks an exciting new chapter in the history of Working Links.  The long-term investment from Aurelius will enable the organisation to accelerate its growth and transformation plans.  Our founding values and purpose endure and we now have strengthened capacity to provide best-in-class services for the socially excluded people with whom we work, while delivering enhanced value for money for taxpayers and our government partners in the UK and internationally.”