Some more reactions have appeared on the sell-off of A4e. Of the mainstream media, only the Financial Times reports it. They say that Emma Harrison owned 87% of the company, whereas others say 85% and City AM says 85.5%. All agree that she gets £20m out of the deal. All the reports point out that Staffline already owns EOS and Avanta, and will now control a large chunk of the market; City AM says 23%. The FT says: "The 16 private sector suppliers of the government’s welfare-to-work programme have been engaged in a wave of consolidation as they seek to bolster their position ahead of the next round of contracts in March 2017". It also says that A4e employs 3,000 people, but the Yorkshire Post says the figure is 2,200. The newly enlarged company will hold 9 WP contracts, two more than Ingeus (which is now owned by an American company). No one seems to think this is a problem.
The financial websites naturally focus on the money. Investor Interactive reports that Staffline's shares "shot up by 18%" on the announcement and is very chirpy about its future profitability. The Yorkshire Post looks wider. They do call Harrison an entrepreneur, which I have always maintained is untrue; and they quote the boss of Staffline on why the name A4e will not be retained, unlike that of Avanta. He says that the A4e brand is "unfortunately too tarnished". The paper also tries to get a comment from Emma Harrison herself; but when contacted all she would say was "I’m sure you’ve had all the press releases. Thanks for calling, bye." Charmingly, they add "It is thought that she will devote her time to charity work."