Adecco may be lining up a cash bid of 2.2 billion pounds ($3.6 billion), or 160 pence per share, the Daily Mail reported, without saying where it got the information.
Hays gained as much as 5.4 percent, the most since Dec. 2, and was 4.2 pence higher at 110.3 pence by 11:10 a.m. That gave the U.K.’s biggest recruiter, based in London, a market value of about 1.53 billion pounds ($2.49 billion). Adecco fell 0.4 percent.
Stephan Howeg, a spokesman for Glattbrugg, Switzerland-based Adecco, reiterated the world’s largest supplier of temporary workers may spend as much as 150 million euros ($217 million) on “bolt-on” acquisitions. Chief Executive Officer Patrick de Maeseneire said last month Adecco may look at opportunities “in that range.”
A spokeswoman for Hays didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.