MARKET CAP = R1,6bn
ASSESSMENT While an academic touch dominates, the staff component should reward after proving it can stick to its task through tough times. Advtech – which owns private education assets Crawford College, Varsity College and Abbots – is by no means a “pure staffing play”. But under the cloak of (very profitable) academia hides a substantial human resources operation.
AdvTech CEO Frank Thompson has put up with Finweek's persistent ques- tions concerning whether it wouldn’t be better for the group to unbundle or sell off its human resources operations, which include wellknown brands such as Brent Personnel, Cassel & Company, Communicate Personnel, Insource.ICT, Kapele, Network Recruitment and ProRec Recruitment. Thompson firmly believes the provision of skills (education/training) and resourcing work hand-inhand within AdvTech. Maybe Thompson’s right. In the year to end-December 2006, AdvTech’s resourcing operations were more than just complementary, producing not insubstantial operating profits of R20m (up 65% on the previous year) from a 49% gain in turnover to R119m. Of course, that fine performance probably won’t go unnoticed in a fragmented sector where sizeable acquisition opportunities are scarce.
Perhaps AdvTech could soon be entertaining an offer for its resourcing assets that it can’t refuse?