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Bring on the Staffies

February 20

According to a recent study by De Bellas & Co., 35 staffing businesses were sold or merged in the fourth quarter of 2003, representing the second consecutive quarter of improving M&A activity.

Key public staffing buyers mentioned were CGI Group (GIB); CIBER (CBR); Computer Horizons (CHRZ); Resources Connection (RECN); and MPS Group (MPS). Overall, De Bellas reports 120 staffing transactions for 2003, with commercial and healthcare segments leading the deal-making pack. Private acquirers accounted for nearly half of the yearís deals done.

As we reported last May, Aquent, a rapidly-growing Boston-based $300 million staffing firm controlled by CEO John Chuang, had acquired two board seats at Computer Horizons, and was pressing the tech services vendor to accept a $146 million hostile bid. Last November Aquent abandoned its bid after Computer Horizons acquired RGII Technologies and thereby succeeded in depleting its balance sheet.

Other recent notable activity includes the January purchase by CIBER of Pittsburgh based FullTilt Solutions. Last year CIBER purchased SCB Computer Technology as well as London-based ECsoft Group and AlphaNet Solutions of New Jersey.


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