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Adecco’s largest shareholder sells 16% stake in $2.5 billion deal

March 13 2014

Adecco S.A.’s largest shareholder, the Jacobs group, sold a 16 percent stake in the staffing giant, the company announced today. The placement of 30.2 million shares was sold at a price of 71.50 Swiss francs (US$81.56) per share for a total of 2.16 billion Swiss francs (US$2.46 billion).

The Jacobs group had held an 18.4 percent stake in the company, according to Adecco’s last annual report. The sale would leave it with a share of 2.4 percent.

Adecco ranks as the world’s largest staffing firm.

Jacobs group includes Jacobs family members, Jacobs Holding AG, Jacobs Foundation and other entities.

Andreas Jacobs, executive chairman of Jacobs Holding, told Bloomberg that Jacobs Holding is entering a new phase. Jacobs is also a member of Adecco’s board.

Klaus Jacobs, who died in 2008, was co-founder of Adecco. Jacobs bought Adia, a Swiss-based staffing company, in 1993, and Adia was later merged with French staffing firm Ecco S.A. in 1996 to form Adecco.

Jacobs Holding still holds a 50.1 percent stake in chocolate company Barry Callebaut.

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