Randstad Finalizes Monster Acquisition

November 2, 2016 – Amsterdam-based human resource services provider Randstad Holding has completed its acquisition of Monster Worldwide. Under the terms of the deal, Randstad paid $3.40 per share in cash, or a total purchase price of approximately $429 million.

By leveraging Monster’s multiple distribution channels to bridge two different but complementary parts of the extended recruiting industry, Randstad intends to extend and build upon a comprehensive portfolio of HR services. Randstad, which reported $21.3 billion in revenues last year, currently has a presence in 39 countries and employs around 29,000 staff worldwide.

Last week, activist investor MediaNews Group (MNG), the largest shareholder of Monster Worldwide, released an open letter to Monster shareholders along with definitive consent solicitation materials filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcing its intent to make a cash tender offer for up to 8,925,815 shares of common stock at a price of $3.50 per share. MediaNews Group looked to double its stake in Monster in the effort.

Tim Yates, Monster’s CEO, called the offer “yet another attempt by MNG to derail Monster’s transaction with Randstad” in order to take control without paying a control premium to all Monster stockholders. He said that MNG’s indication of a partial tender offer to acquire a limited number of Monster shares “is a common activist tactic” that would risk the ability of all stockholders to realize immediate and certain cash value. The tactic apparently didn’t work.

Sourcing & Engaging Talent

“In an era of massive technological change, employers are challenged to identify better ways to source and engage talent,” said Jacques van den Broek, chief executive officer of Randstad. “With its industry leading technology platform and easy to use digital, social and mobile solutions, Monster is a natural complement. The transaction is aligned with our tech and touch growth strategy and reflects our commitment to bringing labor supply and demand closer together to better connect the right people to the right jobs. We look forward to welcoming the Monster team and working together to shape the evolving global job industry.”

Lost Dominance

Founded in 1994, the same year as Yahoo — another industry ‘disrupter’ that has seen its business fortunes slip away — Monster overhauled the way people searched for jobs, using the Internet as a primary tool. During two boom cycles starting in 2000 and again in 2006, Monster hit its zenith in market value of almost $8 billion. It even acquired rival HotJobs, then owned by Yahoo, for $436 million in 2002.

But Monster struggled in recent years as hiring managers brought their recruiting business in-house, and gravitated toward networking sites like LinkedIn, which triangulates the needs of companies, recruiters and employees. Hosts of other networking sites also cropped up, and continue to do so, like Not Actively Looking, which tracks an army of job seekers who may or may not be looking for jobs right away. All of this chipped away at Monster’s relevance and market dominance.

According to a recent report from Hunt Scanlon Media, Monster had been attempting a modern rebrand in an effort to restore the company to Internet recruiting leadership. Three years in development, Monster’s collection of new initiatives had been aimed at enhancing the job search experience for its customer base. But it seems nothing could help Monster regain its footing. Back in 2011, the company posted $1 billion in revenue. Fast forward to this year and, had it remained an independent company, Monster was on track to produce half that figure.

“The reality is the talent management market has radically shifted, and continues to do so,” said Scott A. Scanlon, Hunt Scanlon’s founding chairman and CEO. “When the last economic downturn of 2008 forced companies to cut recruiting costs, more economical platforms like LinkedIn and job aggregator Indeed rose in dominance. That forced talent providers like Monster to watch from the sidelines ever since. In the end, it was simply time for the company to fold its tent.”

As a result of the acquisition, Monster’s common stock ceased trading prior to market open yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange and is no longer listed there. The company will continue operating as a separate and independent entity under the Monster name.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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