Powerlan's people power

Powerlan's people power

Powerlan has added another two strings to its bow with the addition of two recruitment companies to its ever-expanding web of business interests.

The recently listed IT services company announced to the ASX last week it has acquired S.I. Resources Partnership and IT&T Careers for a total of $3.2 million and will fold them into its recruitment and contracting business Pentagon HR Solutions. The combined company will be managed by current IT&T Careers managing director Steven Hayes.

Pentagon is one of five business arms of Powerlan, the others offering e-business, training, consulting and integration, and specific vertical application development for industries such as manufacturing, banking and finance.

Theo Baker, Powerlan's managing director, told ARN the company is planning to continue on its acquisition trail in each business unit, but refused to reveal further details.

"It's fair to say I am still looking in all of those areas," he said.

Of these, Baker admitted recruitment is a profit gold mine, with Pentagon expecting to pull in $20 million in revenues this year. "I am expecting that will double by 2001," he said.

The new acquisitions will be particularly useful when it comes to expanding Powerlan's Asian business operations, Baker explained.

Skills shortages have created healthy demand for Australian IT ex-pats in Asia and likewise for Asian IT workers in Australia.

"Asian countries are feeling the skills shortage pain as much as we are," Baker said.

S.I. Resources Partnership and IT&T Careers were chosen after Powerlan decided they were a strategic fit for its recruitment interests.

However, Baker tried to downplay the significance of the acquisitions, explaining it simply fills a gap in the Pentagon business.

He added Powerlan will still continue to use a range of recruitment companies for its own employment needs if the right staff are not found within its own recruitment business.

S.I. Resources is a specialist personnel contractor to large organisations including AMP, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and IBM.

IT&T Careers is focused on specific markets including IT vendors and distributors, IT&T services companies, multinationals and the banking and finance industries, Powerlan reports.

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