Multiple candidates see through the race for Jobkorea, deal may go up to $1 bn

2021.02.23 13:43:37 | 2021.02.23 13:44:05

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Multiple shortlisted candidates stayed in the final race over Jobkorea, South Korea’s dominant job arranging platform, raising the chance of a deal building up to near $1 billion for the full ownership.

According to multiple sources from the investment bank industry on Monday, H&Q Korea Partners, the largest shareholder of Jobkorea, and its sales advisor Morgan Stanley received final bids from most of the shortlisted bidders like MBK Partners, CVC Capital Partners, TPG Asia, and Affinity Equity Partners.

CVC Capital Partners, TPG Asia, TA Associates, Affinity Equity Partners, MBK Partners, and Australia’s employment marketplace SEEK were shortlisted after 10 bidders submitted preliminary bids in December.

The contenders in their final bids offered a price of 700 billion won ($631.1 million) to 800 billion won, sources said.

Given the heat in the tight race, the auction may develop in to a progressive process to raise the bid among the bidders.

Jobkorea commands dominant 40 percent of the online job matchmaking market. The sales price could go up to as high as 1 trillion won, given its strong influence in the online job platform market and rising preference over non-face-to-face recruiting.

H&Q acquired a 49 percent stake in Jobkorea for 95 billion won from U.S. Monster Worldwide in 2013. It bought the remaining 51 percent stake for 110 billion won in 2015.

Jobkorea’s sales jumped from 75 billion won in 2016 to 105 billion won in 2019. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also doubled from 24 billion won to 48 billion won during the same period.

By Kang Doo-soon, Park Chang-young, and Lee Eun-joo

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