The Adecco Group is set to acquire General Assembly, a leading player in education and career transformation that offers accelerated learning programmes in high-demand 21st-century digital skills. The acquisition will position the Adecco Group as a leader in the fast-growing up-/re-skilling segment, complementing existing solutions and creating significant synergies in Talent Development & Career Transition and Professional Staffing & Solutions. The total enterprise value is USD 412.5 million (EUR 335 million) and the transaction is expected to be EVA positive in the third full year of ownership.
“Our clients are looking for partners to improve access to scarce 21st-century skills and help navigate workforce transformation,’ said Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group. “Demand for digital skills is growing but supply remains constrained. The rise of automation also creates a critical need to re-skill workers, with as many as 375 million employees globally needing to transition to new roles by 2030. 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. We look forward to working with the General Assembly team to build a dynamic and unique business together.”
General Assembly is a global leader in dynamic digital skills training for individuals and corporations. Founded in 2011, the company offers employer-focused, practitioner-taught technical skills training and development in business-critical areas such as coding, data science, user experience design and digital marketing. Its full-time immersive and part-time courses are delivered by expert instructors across an international network of 20 campuses, at enterprise client sites, online or via a blended model. Its award-winning curriculums have proven highly effective at delivering specific skills and enhancing career paths, achieving significantly higher engagement and completion rates than online-only training. The company’s strong brand position is supported by high customer satisfaction (NPS 50+) and excellent career outcomes for its more than 50,000 global alumni.
General Assembly has a strong track record of organic revenue growth, achieving a three-year CAGR of 30 per cent. Revenues in 2017 were approximately USD 100 million and the company has a strong backlog of bookings for 2018. General Assembly’s business model is highly scalable, with programme content delivered via an omni-channel approach (classroom, online and blended). Access to the Adecco Group’s more than 100,000 enterprise clients, global infrastructure, data and comprehensive labour market knowledge will further enhance General Assembly’s strong standalone growth potential, with specific opportunities already identified.
Significant synergies exist with the Adecco Group’s current solutions portfolio. In particular, leveraging General Assembly’s complementary training services to enhance the value proposition of Lee Hecht Harrison’s leading career transition and talent development solutions will further broaden the Group’s workforce transformation capabilities. By helping organizations to up-skill their current talent and transition them into new technology-powered roles, clients can reduce the financial and personal costs associated with disruptions to the workforce caused by rapid changes in technology. There is further significant potential to leverage General Assembly’s "Talent Pipeline as a Service" (TPaaS) model in Professional Staffing & Solutions. TPaaS sources, trains, and delivers skilled workers to enterprises, enabling employers to close large and often persistent gaps for qualified talent. As part of the broad suite of training and workforce solutions offered by the Adecco Group, TPaaS can create pools of highly-skilled tech talent for clients around the globe.
General Assembly will continue to operate as a separate division within the Adecco Group under the leadership of founder and CEO Jake Schwartz and his team, reporting to Sergio Picarelli, Member of the Executive Committee of the Adecco Group.
“General Assembly has always been about creating bridges between education and employment – that’s what has allowed us to scale to 20 campuses, 50,000 alumni, and over 300 Fortune 500 clients,” said Jake Schwartz, founder and CEO of General Assembly. “As our work with employers has grown, so has our need to connect in a deeper way with the world of human capital, and that is why we are so excited about the transformational opportunities that come with this partnership.
“We chose the Adecco Group because it brings a multitude of strategic opportunities to serve enterprise clients, solve pervasive digital skills gaps, and align our offerings with the world-class brands that comprise the Adecco Group network,” Schwartz concluded.