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France - Groupe CRIT acquires US-based PeopleLink

01 September 2011

Groupe CRIT (CRIT:PAR), the temporary staffing, airport assistance and industrial maintenance group, has announced the acquisition of a 75% controlling shareholding in PeopleLink, LLC, an Indiana, South Bend-based US staffing company. As a result of the acquisition, Groupe CRIT gains access to the US staffing market and implements another step in its international growth strategy.

Already present in 5 countries outside of France (Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia), Groupe CRIT's entry into the US market is an integral and key component of the company' acquisition growth strategy.

PeopleLink, LLC, a company founded in 2000 by William W. Wilkinson, William J. Wilkinson and Jay Mattern, is a provider of staffing and related HR solutions to more than 1,100 clients across 14 states in the Eastern half of the United States. The company has 180 employees and provides both commercial and professional staffing, on both a temporary and permanent placement basis. PeopleLink reported 2010 revenues in excess of $100 million and is expecting to achieve growth of +20% in 2011. According to Staffing Industry Analysts’ ranking of US staffing companies, PeopleLink are the 93rd largest staffing company in the US based on 2010 revenues.

The acquisition will see the current CEO of PeopleLink, LLC, William J. Wilkinson, continue in his role, while the family will continue to remain a 25% shareholder in the company. Furthermore, PeopleLink, LLC will continue to operate under its own brand.

Claude Guedj, Founder and Chairman of Groupe CRIT, commented "the executive management and I are delighted about the acquisition of PeopleLink and its prospects for the future.  We firmly believe that the combination of our two companies provides an excellent platform for growth in the US and delivers to our European multinational clients added service offerings on an international scale. Both companies have complementary cultures and values which lay the foundation for a smooth and successful cooperation."

William J. Wilkinson, President and CEO of PeopleLink, LLC, said "PeopleLink will continue to operate in a 'business-as-usual' mode.  We anticipate that our successful operating model will remain fully in place, and Peoplelink will continue to innovate and seek growth opportunities through organic growth, expansion, and strategic acquisitions."

Groupe CRIT financed the entire acquisition from its own cash resources. Deal metrics were not made available.

In early trading Crit's shares were up by +0.30% to 16.48 Euro.

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