Is Rod Aldridge (Capita founder) coming back to Outsourcing?

According to a report last week from Sky Business News, Sir Rod Aldridge is on the come-back trail.

"Sir Rod Aldridge .. has been courting City investors to raise hundreds of millions of pounds for a major takeover deal. I have learned that Sir Rod has been working with bankers ..  on a plan that would see him return to the helm of a publicly-listed company...  Sir Rod is keen to pursue a big takeover deal in the support services or business process outsourcing sectors. The acquisiton would be reversed into the new vehicle, in which one of the Capita founder's sons is also understood to be involved. Institutional investors have been approached in recent weeks about backing a fundraising aimed at generating up to £400m of new capital, although a lukewarm response means it is unlikely to be revived until the autumn at the earliest, insiders say."

Aldridge is the man who built up Capita from being the IT Department at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. He and 33 staff became independent in 1987 after a management buy-out, and the firm now turns over £3 billion as an outsourcing giant. It was - and is - an incredible success story, and the once I met him, he seemed like a very genuine person as well. He's been away since 2006 when he resigned after a bit of fuss around donations to the Labour Party - one of those things that seemed very important at the time but is forgotten quickly.

If he does indeed make a comeback, it might lead to an interesting shake up of whichever market he enters. So we wondered what he might be able to buy for £400 million?

A bit of searching around the FTSE  "support services" sector, leads to options such as Northgate (van rentals), Interserve (mainly facilities related outsourcing - perhaps a little large) and Xchanging (BPO including procurement).

Hhmmm. One of those might be a rather interesting option for him... But this may all be just a press "silly season" story of course. We'll see.

First Voice

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