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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