Adecco takes over France's Altedia

25th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 25 (AFP) - Adecco, the Swiss temporary employment group, said on Tuesday that it was acquiring Altedia, a French consultancy for corporate restructuring and human resources, in a friendly takeover.

PARIS, Jan 25 (AFP) - Adecco, the Swiss temporary employment group, said on Tuesday that it was acquiring Altedia, a French consultancy for corporate restructuring and human resources, in a friendly takeover.

Adecco, a world leader in the temporary employment business, said it would buy initially 50.5 percent of Altedia from founding shareholders at EUR 19 per share.

The terms represented a premium of 23.8 percent on the average price in the last 12 months, Adecco said. Adecco and the founders would then make a public offer for the rest of the equity via a new as yet unnamed entity.

If this were fully successful, Adecco would own 85 percent of the new company and the Altedia founders 15 percent which Adecco could then acquire after March 2008.

Adecco said that the acquisition would strengthen its position in the areas of corporate restructuring and in career management.

The deal is seen as part of a trend by temporary employment agencies to develop in areas of high added-value services to compensate for falling margins in their original business.

At the end of 2003 the US group Manpower bought another US company Right Management. The French subsidiary of Right Management had merged in 2002 with the consultancy Garon Bonvalot which has similar activities to those of Altedia.

Adecco chief executive Jerome Caille said that his group aimed to become the European leader in strategic advice on human resources since the market was fragmented. The deal created a new "platform" for growth in Europe.

The main founder of Altedia, Raymond Soubie, said that his company had attracted many offers recently from other consultancies and investment funds and that he had opted for Adecco because of the strong opportunities for the benefits of scale between the two businesses.

In a context of changing labour legislation in Europe "we think that this partnership is the best way of capitalising on the respective expertise of the two groups", he said.

Adecco was shaken by controversy over accounting practices last year but an internal investigation found no significant malpractice. The company employs 28,000 people internationally and in 2003 had sales of EUR 16.3 billion (USD 21.2 billion).

Altedia employs 585 people in Europe and had sales of EUR 80.5 million in 2003.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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