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Switzerland - Acquisitions must make sense, says Adecco CEO

11 July 2011

Staffing agency Adecco continues to be optimistic about the staffing industry in general. In an interview with business publication Finanz und Wirtschaft, Adecco Chief Executive, Patrick De Maeseneire, said "the positive trend of the first quarter continues. We are convinced that there will not be a double dip. As expected, economic growth in the US will probably slow down slightly but the economies of Europe, which export heavily to Asia, are developing well."

De Maeseneire believes that Germany has a stimulating effect on the other economies of Europe. In general, he cannot see any signs of an economic downturn.

When it comes to future acquisitions for the Adecco Group, De Maeseneire expresses an interest in agencies, which concentrate on qualified workers in geographies with strong growth. He said "we are going to discuss our strategic priorities for the future in August this year. One of the most important criteria for an acquisition is that the management of the target agency actually want to become part of Adecco. If they don't, the acquisition makes no sense."

De Maeseneire also pointed out that the price of an acquisition must be right. He said "if valuations are too high over the next year and if we cannot see any synergies in buying an agency, it is quite possible that we are not going to make any acquisitions at all. Perhaps we even need to wait for the next economic cycle. We are not under any pressure to buy anybody."

"We have a good base for organic growth in all our markets and we are not even discussing large scale acquisitions at all at the moment", De Maeseneire concluded. This re-affirms Adecco’s previous statements on acquisition strategy and counters recent speculation in the UK media that Adecco would make a bid for Hays.

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