Penna acquires Barkers from administrator

At 11:30am on Monday 29th June, it was announced that Barkers Group Limited had been taken into administration and that its business, tangible assets and good will had been purchased by Penna plc.

The deal, priced at £8.6m, is for all of the Barkers Group and TCS.  And although Barkers had already made a fair number of redundancies to date this year, all remaining Barkers and TCS staff and management - numbering around 250 in total - are being offered employment on the same terms and conditions that they previously enjoyed.

Penna plc chief executive Gary Browning told Ri5: "We are proud to be associated with such an established and distinguished brand, and look forward to complementing Barkers' skills with the breadth of a successful consulting group."  He added that, given Penna's wider offering, the proposition for clients should be a very interesting one.

The deal was concluded exceptionally quickly, with contact first being made over the last ten days or so.  Of the three serious bidders for the business, it was Penna who proved successful.

The deal is so recent that neither clients nor media have been communicated with as yet.  But Anne Riley, MD of Penna Creative Communications, says that everybody's first priority is to make sure that all Barkers' and TCS' clients continue to receive the great standards of service they are used to.  "It's very much business as usual," she told Ri5.  "We're placing orders as of now, and the business is backed by Penna which has substantial resources behind it.  The message for clients is that the level of service will be as good as before, if not better."

As for the Barkers and TCS brands, no decision has been made as yet on their future.  "From today the businesses will be trading as Penna Barkers and Penna TCS," said Anne.  "Over the next 90 days we'll be looking at how best to make our businesses fit together.  There will be a lot of work to do over the next few weeks before we're able to make any further announcements."

Monday, 29 June 2009

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Steve Halford Date: Jun 29, 2009

It's a real shame to see such a great business and recruitment brand get into these sort of difficulties. There's no doubt in my mind where the responsibility lies...not with the operational management, but fairly and squarely with successive boards of incompetent, greedy, short-sighted and ill-informed BNB Directors. Having seen them in action at close-quarters (remember the fiasco of myOyster.com) I can say that the good people of Barkers are well shot of them. The silver lining is that they are now part of a business that culturally and strategically understands how to run a recruitment business. I wish them well.

Anonymous Date: Jun 29, 2009

This is outrageous! I wonder what MP will think of this?

Anonymous Date: Jun 29, 2009

While it's been sad to see Barkers having these problems, it's great seeing such a well-known brand being rescued by a group now operating as a force across the people/HR space. Those in the know in this industry can see an encouraging business and cultural fit as well in all this.

Anonymous Date: Jun 29, 2009

The Board should be held to account for running a highly successful business into the ground. The management team and staff were the best in the Business!

TOMOTHY TURNIP Date: Jun 29, 2009

This mulit-million pound deal has left both Barkers and Penna with some difficult questions to ask themselves. Namely, should the Barkers b logo be incorporated into the Penna Pear as the pips, and have they someone on-board with the necessary mac skills required to pull off such an audacious piece of photoshopping? I for one would volunteer my services, but I'm kind of tied up re-imagineering the logo for the Chicken Cottage (Streatham High Road branch) at the moment.

Lisa Pearson Date: Jun 29, 2009

Whether i agree or disagree with the comments made, it's such a shame that people haven't got the balls to stand up and be counted on comments.

adele swift Date: Jun 29, 2009

It's very sad news for the people who have been made redu ndant over the past few weeks. It can be no coincidence that 60 more jobs were shed on Thursday. I hope that redundancy/notice payouts are at the top of the debtors list and guaranteed by the administrators. Sign of the times or a sign of incompetent management for way too many years?

Luke Parry Date: Jun 29, 2009

Wow! I didnt see that coming!

Anonymous Date: Jun 29, 2009

A slight 'devil's advocate' post from Lisa who is prepared to stand up and be counted about not offering a view. Unsure what shenanigans have lead to Barkers' demise but it is a sad day for a great brand and another 'nice bit of business' for Mr. Rowlinson.

Anonymous Date: Jun 29, 2009

There's nothing like sitting on the fence. Must have splinters.

Anonymous Date: Jun 29, 2009

To Lisa Pearson: If you're going to criticise people for not having the balls to give their names, maybe you should have the balls to say whether you agree or disagree?

Lord Lucan Date: Jun 29, 2009

Here Here Lisa I agree

Nick Scott Date: Jun 29, 2009

I hope now they can stop cutting the team - each individual I have dealt with there has been professional and delivered value to their clients. Long may they continue to.

Stuart Dent Date: Jun 29, 2009

I think it's a Good Thing that the meeja aren't getting paid; they only spend their money on clarky-cat and yellow bentines, anyway.

Anonymous Date: Jun 29, 2009

I agree 60 or so people made redundant on Thursday and company goes into administration and taken over on Monday!? - lets hope all those poor people don't lose what they are entitled to, times are hard enough.

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Penna acquires Barkers from administrator