Date:December 2020
Project:Acquisition Support
Sector:Business Services
Role:Support on double acquisition of TopSource & PEO


Forward support Horizon on double platform acquisition

Forward is delighted to continue its relationship with Horizon Capital, supporting them on the simultaneous acquisitions of TopSource and PEO Worldwide.


With the acquisition of TopSource, a provider of outsourced payroll services and PEO Worldwide an employer of record (“EoR”) and outsourced HR solutions business, Horizon has established a new platform for a buy and build in the employment compliance market.


The combination creates a high growth employment compliance group with contracted revenue, 900+ clients and service delivery across Europe and APAC. The new group provides customers with an end-to-end solution in international outsourced payroll, EoR and HR management which is a growing and fragmented market.


Horizon Capital plans to take advantage of the attractive market dynamics and accelerate strong organic growth through investment in sales, geographic expansion, and software. Significant follow on capital has been ringfenced to support an intensive acquisition strategy with several potential acquisition targets under active review.


The founders of both TopSource and PEO will remain with the business and have reinvested alongside Horizon Capital. Guil Hastings (co-founder of TopSource) will become Group CEO and Paul Sleath (co-founder of PEO) will become Global Head of EoR. They are joined by Chairman Martin Smith who was former CEO of compliance group Alcumus and CFO Nick Wain who joins the new business from Zellis, a global HR and payroll provider.


Forward supported Horizon throughout the process, analysing both businesses, collating historical performance data and KPIs, and then working with the two management teams to build fully integrated financial models for each business. The work helped to streamline the due diligence process, as well as provide the information required for Horizon and the lender to model the transaction and set covenants.


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