Potential buyers for South Korea’s leading online recruiting company JobKorea are still weighing up whether to join the final round of bidding early next week.
Process letters were recently sent out to shortlisted bidders, industry sources said. Binding offers will be made for the final round of bidding on Monday (February 22), but the deadline could be flexible if interest levels remain high.
Shortlisted bidders announced in December were CVC Capital Partners, TPG Capital Asia, TA Associates, Affinity Equity Partners, Permira, Hanwha Asset Management and MBK Partners. The seller chose potential buyers with a high degree of certainty to see the deal through and allowed them to conduct a detailed due diligence.
Many global PE firms have joined the race, while the possible participation of Australia’s number one online recruiting company SEEK in the final round of bidding is getting keen attention.
Candidates made management presentations at the end of January and have been given additional information on JobKorea’s clients.
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. This should be attractive to potential buyers, industry watchers said.
The company is expected to fetch around 700 billion won ($635 million), but the price tag could jump as potential buyers are keeping an eye on their competitors’ offers in the final round of bidding. Bidders have prepared their financing plans, which could involve acquisition financing from multiple brokerage firms and banks.
PE firm H&Q bought 49.9% of JobKorea from U.S. job-hunting service provider Monster Worldwide for $90 million in 2013 and the remaining 50.1% stake for 110 billion won ($100 million) in 2015. (Reporting by Ar-rum Rho)