Further consolidation in ‘fragmented’ US recruitment market anticipated

As Adecco follows Randstad in expanding its presence within the US, further consolidation in this “fragmented” market is likely to continue, according to Chris Burger, a specialist Adecco analyst at Helvea Equity Research.

Adecco Group announced today the acquisition of US-based career transition and talent development services provider Drake Beam Morin for €149m ($215m). The move combines Adecco’s Lee Hecht Harrison business with Drake Beam Morin and expands the global footprint of Lee Hecht Harrison beyond its main markets, the US and France, into new geographies and enhances its scale in markets with an existing presence.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q3 2011.

Burger told Recruiter:“I think the US for them [Adecco] is a very interesting market. It is very fragmented and there is a lot of room to consolidate this market and that will continue in my view.

“I don’t think this is a direct response to Randstad’s acquisition last week. Randstad’s acquisition was much bigger and Adecco’s acquisition is the outplacement segment — I would not link the two acquisitions.

“This acquisition is in line with their strategy of strengthening high emerging business. It is in line with a bolt-on acquisition strategy. They had Lee Hecht Harrison, which they bought years ago. It is strong in the US. The new acquisition is strong in the UK and Brazil, and strengthens the geographical reach of the outplacement business.”

Mark Kingston, M&A executive at Boxington Corporate Finance, adds: “Adecco’s acquisition highlights how recruitment buyers are broadening their M&A strategies to include wider human capital/consulting businesses. Owners of recruitment firms who are interested to sell will compete against these businesses for recruitment buyers’ M&A attention.”

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