Athlone-based recruitment company bought out by senior executives

Recruitment and HR company Collins McNicholas, which has an office in Athlone, has been sold in a management buy-out (MBO ) that will see the firm taken over by its three most senior executives.

Colman Collins, who has now sold his shareholding, co-founded the company, which has offices in Dublin, Galway, Athlone, Sligo, and Cork, 25 years ago. The MBO team comprises three senior members of the management team: Niall Murray, Antoinette O’Flaherty, and Michelle Murphy.

Colman Collins will step down as managing director and will be replaced in that capacity by Niall Murray. Fellow MBO members Antoinette O’Flaherty and Michelle Murphy are being appointed as directors.

Collins McNicholas assists some of the leading employers in Ireland to recruit and develop talent. Over the past 25 years it has become a trusted recruitment partner to a large number of organisations from multinationals to SMEs. Colman Collins will act as a management consultant to the company and will continue as a board member. Padraic White, former managing director of IDA Ireland, will continue as chairman.

Niall, Michelle, and Antoinette are all long-serving employees, each having more than 15 years’ experience in the business. In a joint statement they said: “As the new owners we are 100 per cent committed to staying true to the values and the ethos that has served us so well over the past 25 years. We have ambitious plans for the business. We are committed to growing the business and see great opportunities for us to grow each office and further develop our HR services business.

“We are delighted that Colman will remain on the board and act as a management consultant to the new team during the coming transitional year. We are committed to good governance and are very pleased that Padraic White will remain as chairman.”

Paying tribute to the new team, Colman Collins said: “I am delighted to be in a position to sell my shareholding to the MBO team as I believe this is the best way to ensure that the company retains the same value system and ethos that has characterised its operations since the company was established in 1990 with Val McNicholas.”

Padraic White said: “It is a source of pride to all concerned that key members of the management team will continue their commitment to high standards as a result of this harmonious management buy-out. As chairman of the company, I look forward to assisting in the realisation of the MBO team’s ambitious plans for the future growth of the company.”

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