Corporate News

Announcement of Acquisition of EQIQ K.K.’s WAHL+CASE Business (Bilingual Recruiting Business) Through a Company Split (a Simplified Absorption-type Company Split) To Strengthen SHIFT’s Recruitment Capabilities and Expanding Service Portfolio

Announcement of Acquisition of EQIQ K.K.’s WAHL+CASE Business (Bilingual Recruiting Business) Through a Company Split (a Simplified Absorption-type Company Split)
To Strengthen SHIFT’s Recruitment Capabilities and Expanding Service Portfolio

The SHIFT Group announced today that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire WAHL+CASE business, the bilingual recruiting business specialized for start-ups and tech companies (hereinafter “WAHL+CASE”) that is provided by EQIQ K.K. (“EQIQ,” headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Casey Wahl, Representative Director and CEO). As EQIQ operates two business lines: WAHL+CASE and, an Intrinsic Motivation based SaaS service, the SHIFT Group will follow the processes below in taking over the WAHL+CASE business.
1) SHIFT Inc. (“SHIFT,” headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Masaru Tange, CEO and Representative Director) will take over WAHL+CASE via a company split (a simplified absorption-type split).
2) SHIFT Growth Capital Inc. (“SGC,” headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Taichi Hattori, Representative Director), a functional subsidiary of SHIFT Inc. for M&A/PMI purposes, will establish a subsidiary (hereinafter “the New Company”).
3) After the New Company is licensed to provide Paid Employment Placement Services, it will take over the WAHL+CASE business through another company split (an simplified absorption-type company split.)

1. Reason for Succession of WAHL+CASE through the Company Split
SHIFT has launched its software testing and quality assurance business by capturing the 5.5 trillion-yen blue ocean market for software testing. Today, as a comprehensive DX (Digital Transformation) service company, it has expanded its services portfolio to include upstream consulting, PM/PMO, security, development, customer support, etc.
In promoting “SHIFT3000”, aiming to achieve \300 billion (\3,000 oku in Japanese) of net sales, to expand its market share, it is essential to have highly skilled and capable engineers to provide high-value-added services to customers in order to meet industry demand by further. Therefore, recruiting IT human resources is one of the most critical areas in “SHIFT3000.”

To this end, as one of its recruiting measures, SHIFT has expanded its recruiting universe and has approached a wide range of individuals, including not only domestic IT talent, but also engineers based in regional areas, non IT personnel, and new graduates. Consequently, in FY2022, it has managed to recruit 2,497 employees across the SHIFT Group. In order to further accelerate recruitment in the future, it also started considering to expand its recruiting universe including overseas tech talent.

WAHL+CASE, which will become part of the SHIFT Group, has many customers, with a market-leading position in start-ups and tech companies, with the deep ability to recruit Tech personnel, particularly bilingual engineers, and other frontier skill sets that are being newly created in the tech industry, but have limited talent pools in Japan. WAHL+CASE primarily operates in with the majority of the tech candidate they source being bilingual talents or having unique technology skill sets not yet found in Japan.

At the SHIFT Group, demand for human resources who can play an active role in a multi-national environment is increasing, as there are many DX projects supported by the SHIFT Group that require multilingual support. SHIFT believes that by having WAHL+CASE as part of the SHIFT Group, it will strengthen the Group’s ability to recruit bridge engineers*, bilingual engineers, and bring the high-demand, limited-supply tech industry candidates to a wider market.

SHIFT believes that WAHL+CASE will contribute to expanding its solution portfolio as part of the SHIFT Group. As of the end of August 2022, SHIFT had 182 HR members who have accumulated a great deal of know-how, from hiring to HR planning to system building, and have become a leader in HR in the IT sector. By leveraging these accumulated skills and ability, SHIFT is preparing to provide strategic HR services. With the acquisition of WAHL+CASE, the SHIFT Group will add the recruiting service of bilingual engineers and engineers with unique technology skills expects to expand the range of services that can help expand customers’ business, consequently increase the net sales per customer and contribute to make the IT sector in Japan more attractive.

In the future, WAHL+CASE will provide a foothold for the SHIFT Group’s overseas expansion. The Group will need to hire and retain critical global talent when launching new overseas bases, and expanding into global non-Japanese customers. Wahl + Case’s market leading capability and leadership, particularly in regard to international tech candidates and bilingual human resources will help propel the SHIFT Group’s international growth.

Most of the SHIFT Group’s businesses are IT related services. WAHL+CASE is a specialized recruiting business. Accordingly, WAHL+CASE will conduct its operations once the New Company under SHIFT Growth Capital is established and has obtained a License for Paid Employment Placement Services.

In Japan, where the decline of the labor force and the shortage of IT population is expected to continue, the SHIFT Group believes it is crucial to establish a “SHIFT Economic Zone” in order to aim for further improvement of corporate value. This includes attracting outstanding human resources, the acquisition of more customers through a suite of more comprehensive services, and increasing net sales per customer. With the addition of WAHL+CASE, SHIFT continues to strengthen capabilities to recruit talented human resources. The acquisition will also help improve employee engagement, and improve productivity, which have been strengths, to increase the corporate value of the SHIFT Group. The SHIFT Group will also work to resolve social issues in the Japanese IT industry.

* The main business of the bridge engineers is to manage the members so that project members (engineers) with different languages and cultures such as English can promote their work more productively.

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