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Adecco acquires training provider General Assembly in deal that gives firm enterprise value of $412.5 million

April 16, 2018

The Adecco Group today announced it acquired General Assembly, a training firm focused on IT skills, in a deal that gives General Assembly a total enterprise value of $412.5 million. The deal is expected to close this quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

General Assembly provides coding boot camps and IT skills training; revenue for 2017 was $100 million, and its three-year compound annual growth rate was 30%. It has 20 campuses in North America, Australia and Asia, but it provides training via in-person classes, online or through a blended model. The New York-based company was founded in 2011, and was initially a co-working space.

Adecco, the world’s largest staffing firm, reported synergies such as the ability to offer General Assembly’s services within its Lee Hecht Harrison outplacement businesses and in its professional staffing offering as a “talent pipeline as a service.”

General Assembly will operate as a separate division under the leadership of its founder and CEO, Jake Schwartz and his team. They will report to Sergio Picarelli, a member of The Adecco Group’s executive committee.

Schwartz started the company with co-founders Matt Brimer, Brad Hargreaves and Adam Pritzker.

“Because of the unique structure of The Adecco Group, we were able to craft a structure where General Assembly will run as a fully independent company underneath its large umbrella,” Schwartz wrote in a blog post. “We will, however, be able to leverage the knowledge and network of the world’s largest human capital company.”

General Assembly reported it has some 50,000 alumni and 300 clients from the Fortune 500.

Other firms in the workforce solutions ecosystem have also acquired training companies, including LinkedIn, which acquired Lynda.com in 2015. Adecco’s announcement today that it acquired General Assembly follows an announcement earlier this year of buying online staffing firm Vettery.

“Our clients are looking for partners to improve access to scarce 21st-century skills and help navigate workforce transformation,” Adecco CEO Alain Dehaze said. “By offering General Assembly’s services alongside the group’s existing talent development, career transition and professional staffing solutions we will be able to better respond to these client needs, enhancing both access to and the supply of the most in-demand skills.”


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