Llambias jobs firm escapes debt headache

Financial jobs consultancy DLA Recruitment, founded by ICAEW council member Douglas Llambias, has been bought out of receivership by its management team.

The group, which specialises in accountancy and legal recruiting, was part of DLA Worldwide Ltd, which went into administrative receivership at the beginning of May with debts of #5m.

It was sold to a management buyout team ten days later for an undisclosed sum.

Well-known corporate and accountancy firm ‘marriage broker’ Llambias sold the company to a management team in 1997, which then embarked on an overly-ambitious overseas expansion programme.

Following a refinancing deal in 1999 a new management team pursued a number of sale options to shake off an inherited #5m debt.

Receivers from Deloitte & Touche were finally called in by the Bank of Scotland on 1 May after management failed to secure the additional finance they required to save the company.

Justin Pearson, DLA’s chief operating officer, said the group had been dragged down by the ‘hangover’ of its debt. ‘We had been in profit since last August but we could not sustain the debt. It was like having a hangover without drinking the champagne,’ he said.

He denied the company had suffered a slowdown amid fears of a recession but said ‘There is more prudence in the marketplace.’

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