China’s 51job to Go Private in a USD5.7bn Deal

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Chinese human resources and job search platform 51job.com [JOBS:US] announced on June 21 that it reached an agreement to be taken private by a consortium of Chinese investors, in a deal that values the enterprise at around USD5.7bn, as reported by SCMP on June 22. The consortium will acquire the outstanding shares at USD79.05/ADS, and the transaction is expected to be finalized in 2H21 when 51job will delist from NYSE. Meanwhile, China’s largest online recruitment company Boss Zhipin updated its prospectus on June 5 that it plans to raise USD1bn through an IPO in the US, getting a valuation of over USD8bn.

Last September, 51job received a non-binding privatization offer from DCP Capital Partners last September to acquire all outstanding common shares for $79.05 per share in cash. Ocean Link Partners Limited and the company's CEO Rick Yan also joined the buyer group this May, according to an updated takeover proposal sent to 51job. The privatization offer came amid 51job experienced a downturn due to the impacted recruitment industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the company’s revenue dropped 7.8% YoY to RMB3.69bn, while the income generated from online recruitment service slumped 13.1% YoY to RMB2.15bn. However, the firm’s net profit still witnessed a 103.6% YoY surge to RMB1.071bn, while its domestic peer Boss Zhipin has recorded net losses of RMB502m and 942m in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

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