February 24, 2015 – The board of directors of CTPartners has formed a special committee to review “strategic alternatives” one day after one of its chief rivals, DHR International, announced a widening stake in the beleaguered global search company. DHR now owns more than five percent of CTPartners. It recently offered an unsolicited bid to acquire 100 percent of the company’s equity for $61 million. The special committee, composed solely of independent directors, is expected to review the DHR proposal as well as “a range of other alternatives.” A decision about the future direction of the company could come within days. The special committee has engaged Robert W. Baird & Co. to act as its financial advisor. “We are encouraged to learn of the formation of the special committee,” said DHR CEO Geoffrey Hoffmann. “DHR firmly believes a combination will greatly benefit clients and employees of both companies.” It has been a turbulent 90-day period for CTPartners, which saw the company withdraw two stock offerings as it dealt with accusations of sexual discrimination among its top managers. That revelation was an unanticipated low point ending a year in which the company is estimated to have grown globally by more than 32 percent; it was also a surprising comeuppance for its chief executive, Brian M. Sullivan, 61, who has been a well recognized and engaged thought leader in the recruiting industry for years. “Combinations of large search firms, although bandied about for years, has not been something that’s occurred at all,” said Scott A. Scanlon, managing editor of HSZ Media. “But in so many ways, these two firms – CTPartners and DHR – seem to fit well together. CTP has a substantial global network that DHR lacks and DHR has a strong domestic office network that would serve as a comfortable home base for CTP. Both firms are also about the same size. In a sense it’s a merger of equals and those types of combinations typically have the best outcomes.” HSZ Media estimates that the combination would result in a $350 million recruiting powerhouse with a network of more than 400 recruiters operating from 75 offices in 24 countries.
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