Army of dealmakers advise on Olympia and Morgan Stanley deal

26 November 2019 5 min. read

The CEO of Dutch temporary employment agency Olympia Dimitri Yocarini has teamed up with a group of company leaders to buy the company back from private equity group Avedon Capital Partners, in a deal backed by the investment arm of Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley. The deal was advised on by an army of merger & acquisition consultants and lawyers. 

Olympia has around 700 employees, and provides temporary work for some 12,000 people per day. The temporary employment agency, which operates a hybrid model of own Olympia offices complemented by franchised locales, generates revenues of over €400 million, making it a top 10 player in the Netherlands’ domestic market. 

Three and a half years after investing in Olympia, Avedon Capital Partners has now exited its investment in what has unfolded as one of its most lucrative investments of the past years. The private equity firm typically exists its portfolio companies after six years, yet in the case of Olympia “we realised our full strategic plan in the first 3.5 years,” said Gerritjan Eggenkamp, a partner at Avedon. Olympia is a Dutch temporary employment agencyUnder the wings of Avedon, Olympia managed to grow its revenue by 50% during the three-year spell, and profitability jumped. In its latest financial year (FY2018), the temporary employment agency booked a profit of €8.6 million. 

Olympia’s strong performance accelerated the interest, admitted Yocarini, speaking to Dutch financial newspaper FD: “The success has not gone unnoticed. Several parties have shown interest, and this led to an accelerated reflection on our exit strategy.”

Yocarini has now bought a majority stake in Olympia, with a small group of management team members and franchise owners also taking a cut of the stake, while Morgan Stanley Tactical Value Investing has purchased a minority stake. 

According to Olympia’s chief executive officer, Morgan Stanley is the ideal partner to fuel the company’s further growth ambitions. “They will help us realise our ambition to guide employees and employers in a rapidly changing labor market. That makes us ready for the future.”

In the Netherlands, Olympia competes with Dutch-origin global giant Randstad, and other larger players including USG people, Headfirst Group, Brainnet, Timing, Manpower, House of HR and YoungCapital. Olympia aims to grow into a top-3 player in a select number of segments: logistics, industry, engineering, local government, contact centres and administrative roles.

Frederik Wijsenbeek, an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Tactical Value Investing, is confident that the agency has the right ingredients to achieve its goals: “Olympia is a distinctive company. It is the entrepreneurial culture in combination with the special vision, in which people are central, that makes them a top player in their sector.”

Globally, Morgan Stanley’s investment vehicle has over $507 billion of assets under management or supervision. One of its similar portfolio companies is Employbridge, with revenues of €3.2 billion a leading temporary employment agency in the United States. 

Dealmakers advise on Olympia and Morgan Stanley deal


The deal – terms and conditions have not been disclosed – is one of the larger in the Dutch temporary employment market in recent years. Behind the scenes over 70 dealmakers played a role in orchestrating and executing the transaction, include consultants from Bain & Company (Lennert Spek, Philip Desrochers) and EY-Parthenon (Teun van der Zijden, Jacco Slegers). The strategic consulting firms both provided commercial due diligence and corporate strategy services.

M&A and corporate finance advisory was provided by the Dutch wing of Corporate Finance International (Roel ter Steeg, Kevin Driesen, Kasper Kooij) and global investment bank Houlihan Lokey (Rob Hendriks, Rob Oudman, Thomas Bailey, Jim Dekker, Harm Heutink, Nick Stafford). 

Meanwhile, Nielen Schuman (Jan de Wilde, Joost Moelker, Marcel van de Wijdeven, Oscar Crolla) and Deloitte provided financial and debt structuring services, while Big Four firms EY (Maurice van den Hoek, Sander de Boer, Ton Bruijnis, Iris Reijnen, Bianca Takacs, Sjoerd Hensen, Frank Buitenwerf, Wouter Bolhaar, Wessel de Bruijn, Timo Boon) and KPMG (Gijs van Reen, Hans van den Heuvel, Sjoerd Verhoogt, Arnout Haeser, Ben Sitton, Zafer Ulgen) were tapped for transaction support and tax advisory expertise.

Law firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Stibbe both had over fifteen M&A lawyers working on the cross-border deal, while boutique PR consultancy Confidant Partners (Sabine Post-de Jong, Wietze Smid) advised on strategic communications and public relations.