HotJobs Accepts Yahoo Bid

By Ryan Naraine

New York-based online recruitment firm HotJobs.com, Ltd. said Monday it would accept the renegade acquisition offer from Yahoo but the announcement left the door open for TMP Worldwide Inc. to sweeten the pot.

HotJobs said the Yahoo cash and stock bid, valued at approximately $436 million, was a “superior proposal.” However, the door was left open for TMP, which runs the rival Mass.-based Monster.com career site, to sweeten its offer.

“…HotJobs intends to enter into this agreement with Yahoo if TMP does not make (within 72 hours)” an offer that the board of directors of HotJobs thinks is as favorable as the Yahoo proposal.

While TMP has urged HotJobs’ shareholders to avoid the Yahoo bid, the company has never publicly stated an intention to match the Yahoo price tag. At press time, TMP officials could not be reached for comment.

If HotJobs eventually links arms with Yahoo, it must pay TMP a $15 million termination fee and reimbursement of up to $2 million in fees for accountants, attorneys and financial advisors.

The original TMP all-stock buyout offer, which was valued in June at $460 million has lost value with the decline of the stock market. At the time of Yahoo’s counter-bid, it’s price tag was a 6 percent premium over TMP’s.

Immediately after the HotJobs announcement Monday morning, Yahoo issued a statement of its own. “We look forward to entering into an agreement with HotJobs and consummating a transaction as quickly as possible,” the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo said.

“We are pleased with the response from HotJobs’ board of directors to our offer and that they have determined that Yahoo’s offer provides superior value for HotJobs’ shareholders. We believe that the combination of Yahoo and HotJobs would create a powerful new force in the recruitment marketplace.”

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