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Kronos Inc., the Lowell company that makes workplace utilities, including timekeeping software, said Thursday that it is merging with Ultimate Software, a Florida rival, to form a business that will be worth $22 billion and employ 12,000 people worldwide.

Kronos’s chief executive, Aron Ain, will keep the top role at the combined company, the companies said. Both Kronos and Ultimate are controlled by the same San Francisco private equity firm, Hellman & Friedman, which will remain in control once the merger is complete.

Kronos has about 1,750 employees in Massachusetts.

“Together, we will expand the value we deliver to customers and create the industry’s most comprehensive human capital management and workforce management solution for organizations around the world,” Ain said in a statement.

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Kronos and Ultimate said they intend to add 3,000 employees over the next three years and to have two headquarters, in Lowell and in Weston, Fla., where Ultimate is located.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.