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Barkers and TCS merge

Barkers has acquired 100% of TCS Recruitment Limited

It was announced to the Stock Exchange on 6th July 2004 that BNB Resources PLC, owner of Barkers, has acquired 100% of TCS Recruitment Limited, previously in private hands with John Langford (Chairman) the principal shareholder.

TCS, one of the leading independent recruitment solutions businesses, operating from three UK locations (London, Bristol and Manchester), was created in 1988 and has enjoyed steady growth and expansion of services, having developed a number of specialist brands - Peoplemedia
(not for profit sector recruitment communications specialist) and Responseability (Response management and assessment).

The merger of these two businesses creates a number of powerful synergies: TCS has a virtually 100% Private Sector client base to which they have been supplying a wide variety of services and, although billings have declined from a peak in 2000, the diversification strategy contributed to record pre-tax profits in 2002/3.

Barkers has the longest pedigree in the industry and has cemented its position as the second largest player in the UK recruitment communications marketplace with a history of organic growth supplemented by a small number of strategic acquisitions. In addition, through its association with Publicis and the launching of Talent Village it has a significant international reach. Barkers is recognised as a leading player in both Public and Private sector markets and also has a significant not for profit sector client base as well as response and assessment offerings to complement the TCS portfolio.

Barkers plans to consolidate all media planning and buying for TCS into BarkersZenithOptimedia (BZO) - the first media independent to operate in the recruitment industry - by January 2005. This will generate combined billings of approaching 150 million.

The strong creative reputation of both businesses also adds to the future client offering.

Staff and clients are being given a strong ’business as usual’message as the two management teams are keen to avoid the pitfalls of rushed integration.

John Langford commented :’This is a strategic move for both
businesses and our first priority is to ensure that clients continue to get the highest levels of service from their existing Account Teams. We have recognised the enormous synergies that make this deal so exciting for us and we will take advantage of these once the preparation has been properly completed - this may well take up to two years and until that time, both brands will continue to exist where
this makes commercial sense’.

John will join the Barkers UK board along with Chris Samuel, currently responsible for TCS’s West Country operation. ’TCS has always been an innovative and forward thinking business’ Chris commented.

’The merger with Barkers adds a level of scale which would have been virtually impossible through organic growth. We’re looking forward to exploring the possibilities for developing our client offering and the opportunities for our people as soon as practicable’.

Robert Bain, Chief Executive of Barkers added ’We are convinced that we have found the right strategic partner to propel Barkers towards number one status in the UK. The TCS team adds considerably to our management strength and will give us further scope to explore new product offerings in order to give us competitive advantage in the future’.

For further information please contact Nicola Dodd or Kat Taylor Colman Getty PR: 020 7631 2666