Dutch staffing agency Randstad will acquire online job site Monster Worldwide (MWW) for an enterprise value of around $429 million to expand its digital footprint though it plans to slow down the pace of M&A from now on.
The Amsterdam-based buyer is offering $3.40 per share in cash, or 22.7% above the target's Monday closing share price in New York, it announced Tuesday, Aug. 9.
Monster shares jumped 24.47% Tuesday morning in New York to $3.42, giving the Weston, Mass.-based company a current market value of around $319.13 million.
Randstad shares were up 0.15% on the Amsterdam Euronext exchange at €39.12 ($43.48), valuing the whole of its equity at €7.23 billion.
The deal comes amid a flurry of M&A activity in the digital recruitment sector. Recent deals include Monster's own acquisition this past June of mobile job discovery app Jobr, and Randstad's $100 million purchase last September of San Jose, Calif.-based RiseSmart, which uses a digital platform to help departing employees find new jobs.
The buyer plans to keep Monster as a separate and independent entity under the Monster name, though it will be delisted from the NYSE once it becomes part of Randstad, and finance the purchase through existing credit facilities.
"In an era of massive technological change, employers are challenged to identify better ways to source and engage talent," said Randstad CEO Jacques van den Broek in a statement. "With its industry leading technology platform and easy to use digital, social and mobile solutions, Monster is a natural complement to Randstad."
Tim Yates, CEO of Monster, added that "together with Randstad, Monster will be better positioned to fulfill our core mission, and our employees will benefit from becoming part of a larger, more diversified company."
Analyst Yves Franco of KBC Securities in Brussels said in a research note that while it's "difficult" to assess the possibilities of the combination, it "obviously fits Randstad's stated ambitions to be at the forefront of any digital transformation in the sector."
The analyst has a buy rating on Randstad shares, with a target price of €45.00.
Acquisitive Randstad, whose roots go back to 1960, has ramped up its dealmaking activity in the past nine months, and estimates that it will be able to add around €2 billion in annual revenue from all transactions combined. But it plans to slow that pace down from now on, saying it will focus on integration and implementation, and limit m&a in the medium term to €100 million.
Randstad is taking financial advice from Wells Fargo Securities and legal advice from Jones Day.
Monster's advisers are Evercore Group and a team at Dechert law firm led by corporate M&A partners Martin Nussbaum and Derek Winokur, along with associates Matthew Virag and Shannon Cleary, and tax partner Steven Clemens.
The Evercore team includes Denis Bovin, Bryan Bellmare, Dan Rossi, Wes Rodriguez, Tyler Olsen, Jonathan Fung, and John Parker.