Anne Heraty Shows That Timing Is Everything with Auspicious Sale of CPL for €318m After 30 Years

The Irish Times’ Cantillon captured it perfectly during the week when it reported:

“Agreeing the sale of your business at a 50.6 per cent premium to its share price over the previous 30 days in the middle of a pandemic is no mean feat. Especially when you’re in the business of recruitment and outsourcing, and most of Europe is locked down with millions of workers either laid off or being furloughed.”

For CPL Founder Anne Heraty, the sale of her CPL business this week to a Japanese group Outsourcing for €318m was the culmination of 30 years endeavour, in which she founded, financed, floated and has now exited the successful global provider of talent solutions.

Of one Longford’s finest, Anne began her career selling Xerox photocopiers in 1984 after graduating from University College Dublin with a degree in Maths and Economics.  In 1989 she set up CPL Resources in Dublin, originally targeting IT companies that were starting to set up businesses in Ireland and who were looking for suitably qualified IT staff.

Nowadays, CPL generates more than 85 per cent of its revenues from tech and pharma companies in Ireland and healthcare and life sciences firms in Britain and Ireland.  CPL saw its gross profit rise by 4 per cent to €100.3 million in the year to June, driven by a strong performance in the recruitment market before Covid-19 struck its main Irish and British markets in March.  It said in its annual report that it was “pleased with the resilience” of its flexible talent division, which generates almost three-quarters of its net fee income, even as the economic slowdown is affecting its business placing permanent staff in companies.

In 1999 Anne decided to float CPL Resources on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. With this, Anne became the first female CEO of an Irish company floated on the stock-exchange.

As the Irish Times also reported this week: “But with Brexit on the horizon and big tech in the firing line, as international digital tax-reform talks are set to ramp up in the wake of the US election, it’s no bad time to be cashing in on the value created in the three decades since Heraty set up shop.”

Along the way, Anne won the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006 and went on to serve on the Judging Panel for the Awards in subsequent years.

She’s planning to stay on to oversee an acceleration of CPL’s international strategy with the new Japanese owners.

Take a bow, Anne Heraty.