Monster’s Sale to Randstad Is a Done Deal

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Oct 31, 2016

Despite intense opposition to the sale, Monster’s shareholders turned over more than 52% of the company’s stock by the Friday deadline, enabling Randstad to complete the purchase of the career services company.

The Dutch staffing and HR services company announced overnight that its subsidiary — Merlin Global Acquisition — acquired enough of Monster’s stock at a price of $3.40 a share to allow the sale to go through.

“As a result of the completed offer and pending completion of the merger, which is expected to occur on November 1, 2016, Monster’s common stock is expected to cease trading prior to market open on the closing date and will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange,” Randstad said in announcement this morning.

Monster will continue operating as a separate and independent company, Randstad said.

Randstad made its bid for Monster in early August, offering $429 million for the struggling job board. Shortly after, Media News Group, publisher of dozens of newspaper and news websites across the country, publicly challenged the sale.  “MNG believes the $3.40 per share deal would represent the textbook definition of ‘selling at the bottom,'” the publisher said in a highly detailed letter to Monster’s board of directors.

Monster’s CEO and CFO Tim Yates, a member of the board, fired back calling MNG “reckless.” In a letter to shareholders, he said, “MNG is not offering you anything for your shares,” he wrote. “They are asking you to turn down a significant cash premium NOW in the hope of a possibility that your shares may be worth more sometime in the future.”

The day before Randstad’s bid was made public, Monster’s stock closed at $2.77.

In the ensuing weeks, MNG and Monster have exchanged charges and denials about behind the scenes negotiations that Monster’s senior executives held with other potential buyers dating back to last year.

Finally, last week, MNG, owned by the Alden Group, said it would outbid Randstad offering shareholders $3.70 for up to 10% of the stock. MNG already held 11.5%. The Monster board rejected the offer.

Despite the effort, Randstad said 45,973,527 shares were in hand and another 3.7 million were pledged, enough to give it a controlling interest and complete the sale.

Jacques van den Broek, Randstad’s CEO, said, “Through this combination we are able to accelerate our digital strategy and our ability to serve our customers and candidates with transformational ‘Tech and Touch’ services.

In the press release announcing the sale, Randstad listed three strategic and financial benefits to buying Monster:

  1. It will add revenue to Randstad, already the second largest staffing company in the world with 2015 revenue of $21 billion.
  2. “The transaction is intended to accelerate our ability to develop new and innovative capabilities that deliver greater value to job seekers and employers by bringing labor supply and demand closer together.”
  3. Monster’s technology and its 40 country presence will give Randstad’s clients and job candidates greater efficiency in connecting people and jobs.