BRISBANE'S One Key Resources has been acquired by global recruitment outfit Fircroft.
The mining solutions company, founded by the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year Grant Wechsel, has been purchased by the UK-based multinational for an undisclosed amount.
According to the most recent official report, Fircroft is the 13th biggest recruitment company in the world and number one for oil and gas.
Wechsel will continue as managing director and shareholder, while his fellow director and Rugby League legend Darren Lockyer will also continue in his role.
"It isn't an exit, rather the next level for us," says Wechsel, who at last report was doubling his turnover in a struggling industry.
"The deal brings Fircroft financial support and a very strong global network in oil and gas. It's complimentary because we are strong in mining, and they have a little bit of mining at the moment.
"The real change is the shareholding in the business, where two One Key shareholders have exited."
Wechsel holds ambitious expansion plans to enter into the 45 countries that Fircroft currently works across.
"PNG is priority Fircroft works up there already on oil and gas projects and Darren is popular up there too," says Wechsel.
"Then the rest of Asia Pacific will be rolled out but in the first week after signing this deal we are already talking about an opportunity in the US too, so we will just have to take it as it comes.
"When we combine our Australia footprint with their global footprint, we are certainly one of the largest recruitment businesses in the mining sector."
Fircroft was founded in 1970 and still operates as a family business, with the founder's son currently serving as CEO.
Prior to acquiring One Key Resources, Fircroft purchased telecommunications recruiter Rygon and formed several joint ventures throughout 2015.
One Key Resources also made a key acquisition last year in 25-year-old labour hire business Pegasus Employment, which has a strong presence in the Hunter Valley.
This was on the back of a wave of success, where Wechsel was seeing more and more mining companies approaching his firm to outsource recruitment.
"The companies we are working with traditionally would have employed everyone directly in a boom time and are now wanting to partner with people, outsource and have more flexible and cost-effective ways of mining," says Wechsel.
Wechsel says many mining companies currently aren't hiring internally, and in some cases, the only way people can score jobs is through a specialist recruitment business such as One Key Resources.
"We see it being that way for the next couple of years and, if coal rebounds to a better position, we might see some of those changes go back to the way things were, but we see that we will still hold a good portion of that work anyway," he says.
Read more about Grant Wechsel's strategy and acquisition of Pegasus Employment. In addition, read about the collapse of the global mining boom and what this means for Australian industry.
Pictured: Fircroft CEO Johnathan Johnson, One Key Resources founder and managing director Grant Wechsel.
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