CWS 3.0: January 11, 2012

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News: Eye on Japan

It’s been a great shopping season so far. In the last week of December, Recruit Co. Ltd., a large Tokyo-based staffing firm, substantially expanded its operations outside of Japan by acquiring a portion of Advantage Resourcing’s operations. Meanwhile, Adecco S.A., the world’s largest staffing firm, expanded its business inside Japan with its buy of Tokyo-based VSN Inc.

In addition, Pasona Group recently announced it acquired Tokyo-based staffing provider Caplan Corp.

The spate of acquisitions puts a focus on the Japanese staffing market.

“There’s a strong direction toward business in Asia Pacific,” says Diana Gabriel, vice president of Strategy and Solutions at Staffing Industry Analysts, the publisher of CWS 3.0.

“There’s a need in this region for knowledgeable solutions providers,” Gabriel says. “The companies making these acquisitions are positioning themselves to become the leaders in this region to provide solutions that address the specific requirements that buying organizations are looking to fulfill — talent resources, policy, legislative and culture. In addition, there is an opportunity to educate these same buyer organizations so that they are able to manage a successful talent program. ”

Recruit

Recruit acquired the U.S. and European operations of Advantage Resourcing for $410 million. The deal took effect Dec. 30. It marks the latest large-scale acquisition for Tokyo-based Recruit, and will result in Advantage Resourcing divesting most of its non-Japanese operations.

Recruit gets the U.S. and European businesses of Advantage Resourcing in the deal as well as operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai. The business lines included 250 locations along with 22,000 employees at more than 6,000 clients.

Recruit’s buy of Advantage Resourcing follows its acquisition of Staffmark in October. Staffmark ranked as the 14th-largest U.S. staffing firm. Recruit also acquired The CSI Companies, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based staffing provider, in 2010.

Recruit ranks No. 6 on Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2011 list of largest global staffing firms.

Advantage will keep its operations in Japan and its Advantage Federal operations in the U.S. The Advantage Federal business provides staffing, including security-cleared personnel, to firms serving the U.S. government.

Advantage’s Japan brands include technical staffing providers Ctec, Technopro, CSI, Science, N&C and Technopro-China. Advantage’s Japan brands will be part of a holding company called Prompt Holdings. They have approximately $850 million in sales.

Charles Abadie, Advantage chairman and CEO, will continue in those roles overseeing the operations under Prompt Holdings.

“This transaction provides great value for our investors, clients and employees and the culture, growth and success of Advantage International was a good match for Recruit,” Abadie said.

Advantage Resourcing was formerly known as Radia Holdings Inc. before changing its name in early 2010. The rebranding included dividing the company into four groups: Advantage xPO, Advantage Technical Resourcing, Advantage Professional and Advantage Staffing. The new brands replaced Radia’s former U.S. brands that included Technical Aid Corp., Talent Tree Inc., WillStaff Inc. and The Holland Group of Tennessee.

Advantage Resourcing ranks No. 11 on Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2011 list of largest global staffing firms.

VSN Buy

Just before Recruit announced its deal, Adecco reported that it is acquiring professional staffing firm VSN of Japan. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012.

VSN is focused on the engineering segment and has branches in eight major cities along with 200 full-time employees and approximately 2,200 associated on assignment at clients. The deal will double Adecco’s presence in Japan’s professional staffing market.

Adecco reported it was already the fourth-largest player in the Japanese staffing market.

Caplan Acquisition

Pasona Group is acquiring an 85.51 percent stake in the Caplan Corp., Tokyo-based staffing provider, from Itochu Corp. and Japan Airlines Co. Ltd.

Caplan posted net sales of ¥15.19 billion (US$183.3 million) in its fiscal year ended March 31, 2011.

Pasona, a Tokyo-based provider of staffing and other services, ranks No. 12 on Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2011 list of largest global staffing firms.

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