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Portfolio company development: Strategic acquisition by Parasol

Inflexion is pleased to announce the first acquisition by its portfolio company Parasol, the market leading employment services company. Parasol will acquire 75% of Quay Accounting, the specialist accountancy firm whilst Duncan Strike, Founder of Quay, will retain a 25% stake and will remain as Managing Director.

This acquisition builds on Inflexion’s original investment rationale to develop and expand the Parasol business to become one of the biggest contractor services providers and a “one stop shop” for contractors. Based in Poole, and with offices in Manchester and Aberdeen, Quay Accounting was founded in 1995 and has grown steadily now employing over 50 staff with a contractor base of more than 1,300. The acquisition, following a direct approach by Parasol, provides a complimentary business model to that of Parasol’s core umbrella offering and will provide significant growth potential to the enlarged business through product diversification and cross selling opportunities.

Parasol is the largest and leading supplier of Professional Employment Solutions in the UK. Now in its eigth year of business, Parasol currently looks after the needs of over 20,000 contractors and freelancers. Parasol has achieved significant growth since it was founded in 2000 and now has a turnover in excess of £350m. The company employs over 85 staff at its head office in Warrington, Cheshire and has recently established a sales office in London with a further regional sales presence in Scotland. The Group has also recently won a number of business awards including the 2008 Virgin Atlantic Top Track 100 and 2008 Sunday Times Top Track 250 in recognition of its strong growth profile to date.

John Hartz, Managing Partner of Inflexion commented, “Inflexion is very committed to investing in the growth and development of its portfolio companies. Parasol’s acquisition of Quay Accounting is an excellent example of our work with management to identify and capitalise on opportunities during our ownership. Parasol continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to working closely with the newly expanded company as it continues to grow.”