Sina Tech, 2/02/08
US online recruitment firm Monster's annual report has indicated it will purchase a further 55% stake in ChinaHR in 2008, meaning it will hold all shares in the company. Monster will pay between USD 200 and 225 mln in cash to ChinaHR's existing shareholders.
Monster acquired a 40% stake in ChinaHR for USD 50 mln in February 2005, and undertook to purchase a minimum 51% total stake and take control of the company if ChinaHR did not achieve a market listing within three years. In January 2006, a further 5% stake was purchased, taking Monster's total holdings in the company to 45%.
ChinaHR has repeatedly said it is narrowing the gap between itself and largest competitor, (Nasdaq: JOBS) and would be able to list in 2008. However, if the planned purchase by Monster is successful any listing is likely to be abandoned. Monster's annual report shows losses of USD 838,000 for Q4 2007 and USD 9.19 mln for the entire year. This shows that ChinaHR has a long way to go before it matches 51job.
The purchase may also result in changes in ChinaHR's management, as Monster has said it will dispatch the current head of its Southeast Asia business, Ed Lowe, to manage the Greater China region.