Adecco buys Akka for €2bn to create global engineering giant

July 28, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Adecco buys Akka for €2bn to create global engineering giant
French engineering group Akka Technologies has been acquired in a €2bn deal

The Adecco Group, based in Zurich, is to acquire the French engineering group Akka Technologies for €49 per share, valuing the deal at €2bn. This is a huge 115 percent premium over the current share price of €22.82 from a company better known for its recruitment business.

The aim is to combine Akka with Adecco’s engineering and IT consultancy Modis to create the second largest company in the global engineering R&D market after Cap Gemini. The combined group will have 50,000 engineers and digital experts with a global footprint and expertise in mobility and software & technology services. The rapid move to electric aircraft and driverless cars has highlighted the need for engineerig groups to boost their expertise in electronics.

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Akka founders Mauro Ricci and Jean-Franck Ricci collectively hold 33.10% of the company and are in line to share at least €660m after a lock-in of 24 months.

Adecco says Modis’ cross-industry expertise in technology and digital engineering consulting, tech talent services and up- and re-skilling ideally complement Akka’s skills and assets in the European automotive and aerospace business. 

Jan Gupta, president of Modis, will be appointed President-elect of combined business with Jean-Franck Ricci from Akka as chairman of the Customer Advisory Board when the deal completes in early 2022

“Today marks a turning point in Akka's history as we announce the creation of the number two global player in the smart industry, through the combination with Modis,” said Mauro Ricci, chairman and CEO of Akka who will become a special advisor to the CEO of Adecco. “Akka’s focus since its inception has always been to accelerate innovation for our customers and in taking this next step with Modis, we become even better positioned to do so, reinforcing our capabilities as a valuable long-term partner,” he said.

“The addition of cutting-edge digital engineering skills combined with our deep expertise in the engineering of the full product life cycle that we have acquired working with our blue-chip customers for decades will create value for all our stakeholders. This opens up exciting opportunities for our engineers, who will access a larger playing field to continue to innovate alongside our customers and keep expressing their passion for technologies. I am convinced that Modis is the ideal partner with whom to write this new chapter in our history, powering the future of smart industry together," he said.

“This is a milestone day and major leap forward in our mission to be a leading enabler of Smart Industry,” said Jan Gupta, President of Modis, which works with Formula E. “Smart Industry is where IT and engineering technologies converge into a digital and connected world, and we look forward to joining forces with Akka, combining their excellent market reputation in engineering with Modis’ strong digital experience.”

“We are very pleased that Akka and Modis will come together in a landmark combination. Alongside our Workforce and Talent Solutions global pillars, we are creating a global market leader in technology and digital engineering with an ability to capture the accelerating demand for digital transformation through its Smart Industry focus,” said Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group. “By combining Akka and Modis, we are delivering a step-change moment in our Future@Work strategy. This is a compelling investment in a higher growth, higher margin business that has more predictable and resilient earnings and will create significant value for all stakeholders. The two businesses strongly complement one another, united by a shared passion for technology and talent and a dynamic, entrepreneurial culture.”;

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