US - Mellon Financial Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) today announced a $275m (e309m) all cash deal under which Mellon will acquire the human resources outsourcing and consulting businesses of Unifi Network, a PwC subsidiary – a move that makes Mellon the fourth-largest global provider of human resources consulting/administration services.

Mellon already owns Buck Consultants as well as its own in-house operation Mellon Employee Benefit Solutions (MEBS) and the Unifi deal gives the group a stronger foothold in the rapidly growing area of strategic human resources outsourcing.

Martin McGuinn, Mellon chairman and chief executive officer, comments: "This initiative is consistent with our strategy to add businesses and capabilities that enhance our high-growth, high-return fee-based businesses.
“With Unifi, we expand our leadership positions and confirm our commitment to Buck's already world-class human resources consulting business. In addition, Unifi's human resources outsourcing expertise is a perfect complement to MEBS, and propels that business to a new level."

The deal is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2002. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Unifi, which is based in Fort Lee, N.J., was created last year after the 1998 merger of Coopers & Lybrand (C&L) and Price Waterhouse.

The company includes professionals from the former Kwasha Lipton, which was purchased by C&L in 1997. In its fiscal year ending June 2001, revenue was $351 million.
Its employees, products and services will be incorporated directly into Buck
and MEBS.

Unifi's human resources outsourcing business, comprising about 2,100 employees, will become part of MEBS, and its approximately 400-member human resources consulting business will become part of Buck.