After acquiring the controlling stake in Swiss staffing market leader Adia in 1991, Klaus J. Jacobs grew the company continuously, through organic and inorganic growth initiatives; ultimately it became the world’s largest HR services com pany. The merger with Ecco in 1996 – France’s largest supplier of temporary personnel at the time of the transaction – was fundamental and provided the basis for subsequent acquisitions. Since then, Adecco has put increased emphasis on becoming a leader not only in the General Staffing (“blue collar”) sector, but also in the Professional Staffing (“white collar”) business. In recent years, the company has successfully streamlined its processes and thus reinforced its position as partner of choice for HR services across the globe. At the time of the exit, Adecco employed over 31,000 employees in more than 5,000 branches across over 60 countries.
At the end of 2002 Jacobs Holding AG and another co-investor successfully closed the acquisition of Infront Sports & Media AG. Formerly known as Kirch Sport & Media AG, the company held, among others, the broadcast rights for the 2006 football World Cup. After the acquisition, Infront diversi- fieddiversified its rights portfolio from football and ice-hockey into many summer and winter sports, media production and sport service, and expanded in Europe and Asia, in particular in China.
In 1982 Klaus J. Jacobs merged Jacobs AG with Interfood (Tobler-Suchard) to create Jacobs Suchard AG, Europe's number-one chocolate and coffee business. The consumer activities of Jacobs Suchard were sold to Philip Morris in 1990. The remaining industrial business was initially integrated into Van Houten and then into a new holding company, Callebaut AG in 1994. In 1996 the Belgian chocolate producer Callebaut and the French chocolate company Cacao Barry joined forces, creating a new company called Barry Callebaut.