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Gevity merger announced

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Gevity, a Manatee County based-professional employer organization, announced today it has entered into a merger agreement with TriNet Group, Inc., based in San Francisco.

TriNet would acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Gevity in an all-cash transaction valued at $4 per share, according to a news release. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2009 and is subject to the approval of Gevity’s shareholders and customary regulatory approvals. The combined companies will be privately held, according to TriNet President and Chief Executive Officer Burton M. Goldfield.

The deal comes after Gevity announced in late January it would cut 75 jobs — about 10 percent of its workforce — due to economic conditions.

Gevity said that it expected restructuring efforts to reduce operating costs by $19 million, or 16 percent, this year.

TriNet Group, Inc. is a privately held provider of human resource outsourcing services for small business. TriNet’s largest shareholder, General Atlantic, LLC, a global growth equity firm, also owns approximately 9.5 percent of Gevity’s outstanding common stock, the press release said.

In May 2008, General Atlantic hinted at a merger with Gevity in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

ValueAct Capital Management, LP, which is Gevity’s largest shareholder and is also represented on Gevity’s board, has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the recommended merger transaction.

“The company’s board of directors has concluded a lengthy evaluation of numerous strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value and has concluded that joining forces with TriNet is in the best interests of our shareholders,” said Gevity’s Chairman and CEO Michael Lavington.

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