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Randstad to buy Vedior

December 03 2007
Randstad Holding NV said Monday it agreed to buy Vedior NV, which will create the world's second-largest staffing company. Randstad said it will pay euro3.51 billion (US$5.14 billion) in cash and stock. The deal values each Vedior share at euro20.19 (US$29.56). It's slated to close in March or April 2008 and is subject to approval by regulators and shareholders. Randstad's largest shareholder Frits Goldschmeding, who controls 46.5% of shares, already indicated he will vote for the deal.

The Netherlands-based companies will have combined revenue, according to Randstad, of euro17.3 billion (US$25.32 billion). Randstad CEO Ben Noteboom will be CEO of the combined companies And chairman of the combined company will be Fritz Fröhlich, presently Randstad's chairman. Vedior CEO Tex Gunning will lead an integration team.

No forced layoffs are planned because of the merger, according to Randstad.

The combined company will be the largest staffing firm in Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Canada, and India, according to Randstad.

Worldwide, the merged companies will be larger than Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), presently the second-largest staffing firm. Swiss-based Adecco SA will remain the world's largest staffing firm. It had 2006 revenue of euro20.42 billion (US$26.96 billion).

Also on Monday, Vedior announced it received a statement of objections from the French agency charged with investigating competition violations. The statement is one step in proceedings and Vedior will have a chance to rebut the charges. Vedior said it doesn't believe a possible fine would be significant. Manpower and Adecco had also received statements of objections from the French agency. Manpower said the statement stems from a complaint made in 2003 that brought an investigation in 2004 alleging information sharing among companies.

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