On Assignment Inc., a Calabasas temporary staffing firm, said it has agreed to buy Apex Systems Inc. for $600 million in cash and stock.
On Assignment provides staffing services for the technology, healthcare and life sciences industries. Apex specializes in information-technology staffing and services.
The acquisition would create the second-largest IT staffing firm in the country with combined revenue of $1.3 billion, the companies said. IT would constitute 70% of revenue.
The purchase price includes $383 million in cash and $217 million in newly issued stock.
The deal comes as the U.S. jobs market is improving but companies remain hesitant to take on full-time workers. That is a boon for staffing firms such as On Assignment that specialize in contract workers.
“We’ve consistently been having more people start on Monday morning than we’ve had finishing assignments,” said Peter T. Dameris, chief executive of On Assignment.