Private equity (PE) firm H&Q has received fresh offers from shortlisted bidders for its portfolio company JobKorea after changing the sale process to a progressive deal, with both price and non-price terms included, industry sources said on Wednesday (March 3).
Most prospective buyers that joined the final round of bidding have submitted revised offers. H&Q is likely to pick its preferred bidder soon.
With the sale process changed to a progressive deal, the tag price of JobKorea is likely to be pushed up to around 900 billion won ($800 million). It was originally estimated at a range of 750 billion won to 800 billion won, which would be about 15 times the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
CVC Capital Partners, TPG Asia, MBK Partners and Affinity Equity Partners reportedly submitted their binding offers on February 22 amid intense competition. Most of the offers in the final round of bidding reportedly met H&Q’s expectations.
Based on the submitted offers, some market insiders cautiously expect MBK Partners and Affinity Equity Partners to be strong candidates. There is speculation that one of the bidders could form a consortium with SEEK, Australia’s top online recruiting company.
JobKorea provides online job search services to customers with various needs, including those looking for internships, part-time jobs, full-time jobs and jobs after retirement.
If the PE firm gets a deal this year, it will exit JobKorea after eight years. H&Q bought 49.9% of JobKorea from U.S. job-hunting service provider Monster Worldwide for $90 million in 2013 and the remaining stake for 110 billion won in 2015. (Reporting by Ar-rum Rho)