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Randstad buys logistics firm Grupo CTC in €80.5 million deal

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Randstad is spending €80.5 million to buy Grupo CTC, an outsourcing services provider, from private equity firm Portobello Capital. 

The deal is fairly unusual considering that the companies operate in two entirely different markets. Randstad is the world’s largest recruiting agency, while Spain-headquartered Grupo CTC works with corporations to make their supply chains more efficient.

Grupo CTC runs 11 logistics warehouses throughout the Iberian Peninsula. It uses those facilities to support the supply chain operations of its client companies: Grupo CTC can process merchandise bought from overseas and route it to a retailer’s stores, as well as take on other logistics tasks.

A second specialty of the firm is helping clients spruce up their own, internally-operated logistics warehouses. Grupo CTC can work with a retail to digitize its warehouses and find ways of reducing their carbon footprint.

The firm generated €230 million in revenue last year from about 200 clients.

Logistics is not exactly Randstad’s forte. The firm makes practically all of its revenue from helping companies hire new employees, temporary staff and executives.

The acquisition of Group CTC suggests Randstad wants to expand beyond the recruiting space to other parts of the outsourced services sector. That, in turn, may provide some insight into the firm’s business roadmap.

If Randstad is serious about expanding into new parts of the outsourced services sector, it will not limit its focus to the outsourced logistics space in Spain. The recruiting giant might make more acquisitions like the Group CTC deal to support its business growth plans.

But the pace of Randstad’s growth push could depend on the success of the Group CTC deal. 

Integrating an acquired firm into the acquirer’s organizational structure is never easy. If the Group CTC deal doesn’t work out as planned, or takes longer than expected to deliver a return, Randstad may decide to continue its market expansion at a slower rate.

The outsourced services sector is uniquely broad and encompasses numerous markets besides the logistics vertical where Group CTC complete. Each of those markets have their own complexities. 

Because of that, it’s possible Randstad will initially limit the focus of its growth push to the outsourced logistics space or a few adjacent areas. Expanding into a large number of outsourcing segments at once may not be too feasible for the company.

Randstad said that it’s looking to wrap up the Group CTC deal within a few weeks.