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Work Service attracts Gi Group as new majority shareholder




25 August 20

On 24th August this year, Work Service, Poland's largest HR company providing innovative solutions in the field of human resources and Gi Group, one of the world's leading staffing companies completed the transaction under which Gi Group acquired a controlling interest in Work Service. 

Through the transaction, Gi Group strengthens its position in the market for HR services in Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time Work Service has a new shareholder with one of the leading positions in the international market for HR services, which will enable it to achieve financial stability while further developing its business activities and services. 

Thibault Lefebvre, Regional Head Central-Eastern Europe of Gi Group has been appointed as new President of Work Service Management Board, Iwona Szmitkowska, already President of Work Service Management Board, is new Vice President; Nicola Dell’Edera, Global Chief Financial Officer of Gi Group, has been appointed as new Vice President of Work Service.

“The acquisition of Gi Group as a strategic investor who knows the HR market well and operates in many international markets for us translates into a new phase of business and the opportunity we are going to take full advantage of. We have gained financial stability, as well as the prospect of further business growth and a return to a large part of our customers. We have tremendous experience, we have invested in quality and technology for years, as well as in modern recruitment, robotics and communication. By reducing our business overheads, we have achieved the highest operational efficiency rates in the industry. Just as at the beginning of Work Service development, we have tremendous strength and capabilities that, once the investment agreement has been completed, will eventually be able to be fully used” - said Iwona Szmitkowska, Vice President of Work Service Management Board.

The transaction finalizes the process of acquiring a financial or strategic investor announced by Work Service in March last year, reviewing strategic options. As a result, on 13 February this year Work Service signed an investment agreement with Gi Group, which set out its conditions for acquiring a majority shareholding. Its completion was preceded by confirmatory due diligence, obtaining the consent of the anti-trust authorities, and agreement with the company, shareholders, banks and bondholders on the final transaction documentation. Despite the pandemic, which has changed the economic situation and the global labour market, the transaction concluded on 24th August this year is based on all the main assumptions previously agreed upon.

Under the several agreements, Gi Group acquired the majority of Work Service shares and, in accordance with current regulation, will launch a tender offer for at least 66% of total issued shares. Moreover, Gi Group will also provide the financial support necessary to enable Work Service to achieve its business objectives with an adequate financial structure.  

Work Service undertook to call for General Meeting of Shareholders to propose the increase of the share capital by at least PLN 30 million to a maximum of PLN 105 million at PLN 0.39 per share.

The investment in Work Service is a strategic complement to the existing Gi Group activities, in the area of temporary and permanent employment, search and selection, HR counselling and training, and complementary services. 

“The significant financial support of Gi Group coupled to the experience of our Senior management team, the quality of our processes, and our consistent investment in new technologies will allow us to continue to provide the best innovative solutions to our clients and candidates in staffing, outsourcing and RPO. Work Service is and will remain a solid reference for candidates, clients and competitors in CEE and more specifically in Poland, Czech, Slovakia and Hungary. I’m sure that even if Gi Group and Work Service will operate independently, they will implement synergies to ensure efficiency of operations and professional services for both companies and candidates”, says Thibault Lefebvre, new President of Work Service Management Board and Regional Head Central Eastern Europe of Gi Group.

“The acquisition of the majority of Work Service gives us the possibility to increase and consolidate our positioning in Central and Eastern Europe, where we are already present with the brands Gi Group, Wyser and Grafton, and reinforces our role as a global player in the HR services. This operation comes after our deals in the United States and Brazil and shows how the Group is completely focused on managing the rebound phase. Moreover, the acquisition is completely in line with our medium-term objective of reaching 6 billion euros of turnover by 2023. I’m sure that Gi Group and Work Service will collaborate and find synergies with one unique goal: to answer to complex needs of companies and candidates”, added Stefano Colli-Lanzi, Global CEO of Gi Group.

Companies belonging to Work Service active in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary and Gi Group will operate independently in the nearest future. The objective, however, is to develop and implement an optimal synergy model to ensure efficiency of operations, complementarity and development of services and professional customer service.

“The concluded agreement is the first, formal and very important step. We will look at the possibilities and scope of cooperation, the integration of companies' activities in order to ensure the highest quality of service provision” concluded Iwona Szmitkowska.

Work Service advisors in the process were: Blackwood Capital Group, PwC Advisory, and Mrowiec Fialek and Partners Law Firm. Gi Group advisors in the process were: Baker McKenzie as an international legal advisor with the support of the Gi Group’s internal Global Legal Department, M&A and Global Finance Department, Deloitte and Core Sp. z o.o.



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