Founded by two engineers, a lawyer and an accountant, Gartland Whalley & Barker acquires smaller companies and merges them. They are then built up and sold to a trade buyer or floated on the stock exchange. One example is the recruitment company Quantica. "Larger companies are worth more than smaller ones," says Phillip Bennett, the managing director, who has grown profits by 35% a year, from £10.3m in 1997 to £25.1m in 2000, when the Halifax company had 2,594 workers.

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Company details
Year2002
Rank61
CompanyGartland Whalley & Barker
ActivityBusiness developer
LocationWest Yorkshire
Annual profit growth34.55%
Latest profits £000s25,101
Latest sales £000s190,812
Staff2,594
Founded1989
Websitewww.gwb.co.uk

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure