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Recruitment veterans Andrew Banks and Geoff Morgan to take listed recruiter Talent2 private

Recruitment industry veteran and Talent2 founder Andrew Banks says poor market conditions have led to his decision to delist the company from the Australian Stock Exchange.

The company announced the move in a statement this morning, saying Banks and fellow industry veteran Geoff Morgan had agreed to take the business private in order to "allow the company more flexibility to meet its strategic global growth plans".

Over the past year the company's share price has fallen 67%, closing last Friday at just 47 cents.

The deal will be worth 78 cents per share, which Banks says offers good value to current shareholders.

But one shareholder has told SmartCompany that shareholders aren't happy with the deal and believe it doesn't represent the company's true value, given shares were trading above $1 prior to a shock profit warning in December 2011.

Banks told SmartCompany this morning the global sharemarket turmoil had informed part of the decision.

"We know it's a tricky time in world markets right now. It's reassuring to have a long-term partner working with other major shareholders. We think the move will be beneficial for everyone."

When asked about whether the company intended to seek another initial public offering in the future, Banks declined to comment.

"We can't make comments about that. But this move is very much about the response we have to these challenging times, and we think it's the right approach for customers and staff."

Banks announced the company had brokered an agreement for Banks and Morgan to acquire the company through their investment vehicle, Morgan & Banks Investments, along with Allegis Group, an American recruitment firm.

The writing has been on the wall for some time. Last December, Talent2 said in a statement that the global and regional uncertainty created by the European financial strife and "volatility of financial markets" had led to a decision to defer some contracts until 2012.

However, at the time it said it was still committed to achieving its 2015 goals.

Talent2 chief executive John Rawlinson said the new partnership would allow the company to expand its global growth plans.

"A closer partnership with Allegis will deepen our base in the Americas and Europe enabling us to compete more strongly in the global market place. Today's announcement further cements our intention to service global companies."

"We believe this is a positive announcement for staff, management, customers, partners and shareholders."

All of the senior management team will remain in place. Banks will remain as chairman, a position he took up late last year.

Allegis international president Chris Hartman said the business would help Talent2 expand its reach in the Asia-Pacific.

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Engel Schmidl

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