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Switzerland — Financial discipline is the watchword for Adecco's CEO

22 September 2009

Patrick De Maeseneire the Swiss staffing giant's Belgian Chief Executive Officer who was appointed in June this year told the Financial Times that he currently has opportunities for acquisitions but will keep financial discipline.

"Right now we have a window because companies are reasonably valued and Adecco has the advantage of a strong balance sheet", De Maeseneire said. "We can finance our growth, both organically and through acquisitions," he said further but did not wish to go into details of possible acquisition targets. In August Adecco said it would boost its professional staffing business with the buy of Britain's Spring Group for 108 million Pounds.

"Signs of a pick-up are still very fragile. The fundamentals are not there yet because we haven't seen a real pick-up yet. We have to continue to take out costs." Whilst not being specific on possible targets, De Maeseneire explained Adecco's approach. "Adecco is relatively weak in professional staffing, which comprises only 20% of our business. As a market leader we should at least mirror the market."

On the basis that Adecco is relatively weak in the Benelux area, Petercam analyst, Frank Dereymaeker, speculated that USG People would make an obvious target. USG's shares added 10% during trading yesterday to close at 14.19 Euro.



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