Adecco to Acquire Penna Consulting for $149 Million

March 28, 2016 – HR solutions company Adecco has acquired U.K.-based Penna Consulting Plc for $149 million as it seeks to strengthen its services outside the U.S. market. The company agreed to pay a 62 percent premium for Penna, according to industry sources. The deal is expected to close sometime later this quarter.

Adecco CEO Alain Dehaze said both companies share a long history of working together and that the synergy enjoyed between the two businesses provides an “excellent strategic fit” as Adecco expands the breadth and depth of its services in the U.K.

Last year, Adecco acquired Canadian talent solutions provider Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions for $80 million. Knightsbridge became part of Lee Hecht Harrison, Adecco’s outplacement business, and the combined organization in Canada was co-branded with both the Lee Hecht Harrison and Knightsbridge names.

Penna had annual revenues of approximately $119 million for the period ending March 31, 2015. In November, the company announced significant increases in its six month revenue performance, the best half year performance Penna yielded since the Great Recession began.

“Adecco will be a strong strategic partner for Penna, allowing Adecco to offer a highly attractive value proposition to Penna shareholders, after a period of very strong performance,” said Penna CEO Gary Browning.


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The acquisition is just the latest in a series of executive recruiting firms being sought after by global staffing and advisory companies.

In February, The Fahrenheit Group acquired Bencks & Co., a boutique recruiting firm headquartered in Richmond, VA. Fahrenheit provides advisory, accounting & finance, and human resource services from offices in Richmond, VA, Metro Washington, D.C., Raleigh, NC and Phoenix, AZ. The company had been seeking to increase capacity in response to what it says is “rising demand” from clients for C-suite and specialty recruiting services.

Earlier in the year, AMN Healthcare Services, a provider of healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services, completed its acquisition of healthcare-focused executive search firm B.E. Smith for $160 million in cash.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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