Japanese Human Resources Company in Deal for Bigger European Presence

HONG KONG — The Japanese human resources company Recruit said on Tuesday it would buy USG People, a Dutch competitor, for 1.61 billion euros in a move to get a firmer foothold in Europe.

The companies agreed on an all-cash offer of €17.50 a share, making the deal worth about $1.75 billion. The price was a 31 percent premium over USG’s closing price on Monday and its average over the previous three months.

Alex Mulder, a founding shareholder of USG, has agreed to support the offer and tender his 19.8 percent stake in USG.

Recruit has been growing through acquisitions in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“Recruit’s midterm vision is to become the world leader in human resources by around 2020, in terms of number of positions filled,” Masumi Minegishi, Recruit’s chief executive, said in a news release. “To achieve this, we are seeking to grow our business platforms in Japan and abroad organically and through acquisitions. The acquisition of USG People is perfectly aligned with this strategy.”

USG, with revenue of about €2.4 billion in 2014, will give Recruit a bigger presence in USG’s core countries — the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany — as well as access to specialist staff, like finance workers.

Rob Zandbergen, chief executive of USG, said that geographically, “the companies are highly complementary, with no overlap with the current operations of Recruit in staffing activities.”

Once the companies merge, USG will delist from Euronext Amsterdam. The deal is still subject to approval from regulators and shareholders, but the companies expect it to close in the second quarter of 2016.

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  • Bahraini Gooner

    It is a great acquisition for Recruit as it will help them become an internationally recognized brand and give them the tools to expand themselves not just in Japan but globally as well. It is also good for USG that they are merging with a company like Recruit which has more experience and will benefit them.

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