Chinese Recruitment Platform 51job Signs Merger Agreement for Privatization

51job, Inc., a provider of integrated human resource services in China, announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a revised merger agreement with Garnet Faith Limited. The transaction deal, which will be finished in the first half of 2022, implies that the equity value of the company stands at $4.3 billion, and that the company will be acquired by a consortium of investors.

51job, Inc. was founded in 1998 and listed on Nasdaq in September 2004, becoming the first Chinese human resources service enterprise to do so. The company’s net revenue in the third quarter of 2021 was 1.081 billion yuan ($171 million), a year-on-year increase of 19.3%. The net profit attributable to the company was 46.6 million yuan, compared with 173 million yuan in the same period in 2020.

As early as June of 2021, 51job, Inc. announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement with Garnet Faith Limited, implying an equity value of the company of $5.7 billion. However, in November, the company said that the privatization plan may be unexpectedly delayed.

In January this year, 51job, Inc. said that it had received a proposal letter to reduce the merger consideration from $79.05 in cash per common share to $57.25 in cash per common share.

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According to the announcement of 51job, Inc., the consortium includes DCP Capital Partners II, L.P., Ocean Link Partners Limited, and Rick Yan, the CEO of the company. Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., the company’s largest shareholder, is also participating in the transaction with the consortium.